In my early college years, a friend briefly mentioned that there was a place so extraordinary that he had to return every year. When I asked him more about this, he elaborated that this haven was a childhood cancer summer camp called Special Days. This camp brings in children who have or have had cancer, as well as their siblings. He attended Special Days in his youth after his sister developed cancer at a young age, but when he grew older he decided to return as a volunteer to make a difference in the lives of new campers. He invited me to volunteer with him one summer, and it was rewarding to establish meaningful relationships with the campers and the other volunteers.
It was this experience that would serve as my inspiration to pursue a career in cancer epidemiology.While the devastating effects of cancer have been experienced by many, cancer was personalized for me after my experience at Special Days. I volunteered for several more years, and I listened to countless stories of how campers lost loved ones in the battle against cancer. I have even witnessed some campers not returning because they themselves were taken by the disease. Seeing these faces of pediatric cancer motivated me to embark on a career in epidemiology and make a difference for those affected by the disease. In the future, I hope to continue having an impact on lives at Special Days, but not simply as a camp counselor.
I want to be equipped with an education from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health in order to be a catalyst for reducing the effects of cancer that have claimed far too many members of the Special Days family.While discovering how to become actively involved with cancer health issues, my current research in scientific modeling. .various local and national research conferences within the field. These experiences of communicating intricate research projects with senior experts will be significant for becoming a practicing epidemiologist where I will be expected to collaborate with other experts on methodologies and results.After spending time with the some of the young victims of cancer who have experienced the negative health outcomes of the disease, I was inspired to tackle the condition by working with large-scale analytics on cancer epidemiology.
In order to achieve my goal of reducing the incidence of childhood cancer, I will need to arm myself with the best education, collaboration, and community experiences found at the University of Michigan. The education and resources that the University of Michigan will provide will allow me to make a global impact amongst the leaders and the best.