FIVE IN A MILLION
BY TARIAH LANE
I was born a little atypical.
It was a five in a million chance—
this rare distortion of my physical.
But I made the best of my circumstance.
This is the story of a survivor,
a tale of overcoming a rare plight,
of a girl who let her pain drive her,
of a battle no one should have to fight.
Is it autoimmune or a cancer?
what difference does it honestly make?
No doctor could give a proper answer;
regardless my little life was at stake.
A child’s only job is to try to grow—
not facing disease and deadly chemo.
Ultimately, it was deemed the latter—
Cancer—at the mere age of fifteen months.
And my family’s world it sure did shatter,
it felt unfair, like a personal affront.
I went from simply learning how to talk
to learning that needle pokes made me sad.
I went from figuring out how to walk,
to learning that doctors were not so bad.
Some would not want to be rare in this way,
but I take this journey of mine in strides.
Some say, “It is unfair being this way,”
but I wear my scars with the utmost pride.
This journey shaped who I was meant to be.
I view life a way others may not see.
It has equipped me to always endure
and outfitted me with tenacity.
It gave me a hope that soon there will be a cure—
And spurs me to live with vivacity.
So look, look at who I have become now.
Some wonder how I managed to get here.
I can and will tell you exactly how:
through faith, community and those I hold dear
Not just family, though they were a large part,
but because of nurses and physicians—
ones with great diligence and immense heart—
and the NCCS who help those in my position.
I owe them all much thanks and gratitude.
Their compassion is of great magnitude.
Now, fifteen-free and at university
I face new challenges and reach new heights.
I am ready to face adversity,
as my past drives me and narrows my sights.