27 Apr Julia Hennessey – Pittsburgh
I am 20 years old and was diagnosed with melanoma this time in October last year. At the time, I was just a second year nursing student a semester away from graduating with my Associates degree in nursing. Cancer, which was a prevalent reality in my younger years as I had lost my Grandpop at age 5 to lung and brain cancer and my friend’s little brother to brain cancer, was something that was not on my mind at the very hectic time in which i was studying for my complex nursing midterm. Also, at that time, my 15 year old brother was celebrating the achievement of his Eagle Scout award, the highest honor in boy scouting. Following the ceremony, which all of my family was attending, my parents decided to sit us all down (which didn’t seem to be a good sign)…and it wasn’t. They informed us that my brother’s biopsy came back as malignant melanoma, they were unsure of the extent, and it was probable that I had it as well. And I did.
Since then both my brother and I have had our fair share of biopsies, surgeries, scars, and dermatology appointments. We have been grateful they have been catching it early enough. Since the diagnosis I have gone on to get my nursing degree and am currently going back for my Bachelors. I have spent what free time I have actively involving myself in the Colleges Against Cancer group at my school and educating myself further in the field of oncology.
GMC Peer Mentoring Association Vice President 2011-2012
Sigma Phi Sigma 2011-2012