Walking into a room with bright lights, all eyes on you, while wearing a gown, it seems like you are a superstar, a celebrity. In a way, you are. You are the superstar when you walk into an operating room because you are the person who goes through something that no one can fully prepare you for. The gown may be a hospital gown and the bright lights may be somewhat blinding, but you are the person who is most important in that moment. You are the patient, and you are the superstar that everyone is taking care of. I won’t say surgery is something easy to go through, but it is something I have dealt with since I was two-years old.
I may not have been a “typical kid” who had the whole summer to go to summer camp and play outside. I always had to allot time in the summer and school breaks for procedures and surgeries for my Venous Malformation in my airway, facial, and oral area. That to me was normal, and it still is. I still go through multiple procedures and surgeries every year, but it is something that I have accepted. It is something that has given me and keeps giving me motivation to be a better, kinder person, and furthermore, to be a compassionate physician.
I have Venous Malformation and it will probably stay with me for the rest of my life, but I do not, in any way let it limit what I want to do and pursue in life. I did not let it limit me from things like sports, music, or academics. I did gymnastics until middle school, I have been skiing since I was 4 years old, playing piano since I was 5 years old, played flute since 4th grade all the way through high school, graduated high school with 6 varsity letters and was a captain of both the tennis and track teams, and I currently attend the University of Michigan where I further pursue my passions and aspiration of becoming a physician.
At the University of Michigan, I am studying Interdisciplinary Chemical Sciences while being on the pre-medical track. I am part of the Health Sciences Scholars Program, where I was a participant as a freshman and a peer advisor as a sophomore. I do research in an Organic Chemistry lab as well as facilitate an Organic Chemistry study group, but I am also involved in many other extracurricular activities. Every week, I go to Detroit and teach music and the arts to children as part of an organization called Seven Mile Music, where I am also a board member. I volunteer in the children’s hospital every week and am part of the University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Team.
I do not let Venous Malformation dictate what I can or cannot do in my life. I may have never gone one year without having surgery, but it has inspired me to help others the way my doctors have helped me. The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation has helped me tremendously with their connections of doctors and the way they support families affected with Vascular Birthmarks. You can help me show my appreciation for and give back to the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation by helping me raise money that will aid and support other individuals and families with Vascular Birthmarks.