Yesterday a dear old friend of mine would have turned 30. I met Laura the summer after freshman year of college at a Children’s Cancer Research Fund event. She had osteosarcoma like I did, but hers would soon become metastatic and she would die in her early 20s.
In the short time we knew each other, Laura taught me more about living gracefully than anyone I have met. The last time I saw her, as her osteo was spreading throughout her lungs, everyone around her was awkward and wanting to apologize for what cancer had done to her future. But Laura was smiling ear-to-ear. Her smile was not a denial of her prognosis, but instead an expression of a real sense of gratitude for the people who surrounded her and the laughter they shared. Laura today continues to inspire me to be poised in hardship and grateful for the life I’ve lived so far.
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