Miles Levin said his measure of success is based on the amount of impact he could have on others. For this reason he called cancer his "ugly blessing", because it allowed him to impact more people.
Katie Gerstenberger was 12 years old when cancer changed her life. Yesterday Katie's mother made a list of life lessons her daughter has taught her. I would like to share a few.
- I need to stop saying "I'm sorry" so often.
- I can't fix a lot of what I see, but I can be present with others who are suffering. And while it feels small, it is enough because it is everything I have to offer.
- Courage can be seen in hundreds of small steps.
- There are many ways to honor another person's dignity.
- A dying child can still worry about the future (and the feelings) of those around them.
- The treatments, surgeries, and suffering endured are all worthwhile, in order to live.
- A child knows who they like and don't like, and it's all okay; we need to listen to that knowing.
- Kids see right through adults who underestimate them (or who think they are smarter than kids).
- You can be in a powerless position, and still find a way to do good within it.
- It’s possible to laugh at yourself in the strangest circumstances you can imagine.
- It’s possible to feel loved in the most dangerous situations.
- It’s a privilege to be allowed to do things for your loved ones.
- When you are really loved, and beautiful inside, you are gorgeous...with or without your hair.
- A huge scar is a sign of strength, survival and endurance. It's a badge of honor, not of disfigurement.
- "It" could be worse.
- Hope is important.
- Age does not limit insight or maturity; a young person can have the wisdom of a wise, old person.
- No one knows exactly how you feel; no one, but people do care deeply.
- True love knows no limits: not space, time, suffering, life or death.
12 year old Katie lost her 10 month battle with cancer, but her impact on others will never be forgotten.
There is only one path to greatness and it runs through hell. Trials make or break a person. The greater the ordeal, the more strength you’ll attain upon surmounting it, or the further you will fall. So while I have been given a terrible curse, I have also been given a rare opportunity. I would go so far as to call it an ugly blessing. While it has been challenging, I’ve had friends, family, and resources to help me through it.
--Miles Levin. At age 18, Miles lost his battle with cancer.