Braver, Stronger, Superstar…… SARINA
Sarina, a high school senior, was preparing for orientation weekend at High Point University in North Carolina. Instead, her entire world was flipped upside down by a devastating phone call. Sarina was told she had cancer – acute myeloid (AML) leukemia – characterized by the production of a large number of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow. Instead of heading to High Point, Sarina went straight to the hospital, which would then be her home for the next 6-8 months.
The doctors told her that she would miss college orientation, high school graduation, senior prom and that it was very unlikely that she would head to college in August. Sarina would miss out on all of these long awaited milestones. But that wasn’t the worst part.
Sarina would require three rounds of aggressive chemotherapy followed by a lifesaving bone marrow/stem cell transplant. In addition, she would have to undergo fertility treatments in order to preserve her eggs so she could have children of her own in the future. It was not going to be easy.
As her mom Karen so eloquently put it, “she will lose her long gorgeous hair and much of her strength. And at times she will lose hope. But her father and I know she is the strongest person on the planet. We will do everything humanly possible to help her through this. But ultimately, Sarina will be the one helping us. Her spirit, strength and will to fight is what will get us all through this.”
After dealing with the grueling side effects and complications of several chemotherapy treatments, Sarina decided to shave what was left of her gorgeous mane. Surrounded by her supportive family and friends, together they shared tears, fears and heroism. To no one’s surprise, she faced losing this last piece of normalcy like the true champion she had always been. Sarina was beautiful. Not one flaw on her perfectly shaped gorgeous head. It was Sarina’s courage and grace that gave strength to them all.
A few weeks later, to everyone’s delight, Sarina was well enough to leave the hospital for a short time. Just in time for some senior year festivities.
She ROCKED her Senior Banquet in all her bald beauty with the support of her amazing posse, was crowned Queen at her Senior Prom while wearing the dress she picked out before her illness but wasn’t sure she would be able to wear, and even walked across the stage with her fellow classmates to accept her High School diploma to thunderous applause from the crowd.
Sarina has a long road ahead. She and her family are an inspiration. Together they will kick cancer’s butt. And there is no doubt that Sarina will continue to ROCK the TREATMENT!
Every day Rock the Treatment hears stories like eighteen year old Sarina’s. Stories of extraordinary people that are ROCKING their TREATMENT. The hope of starting this business was not only to provide cancer patients with products they need to combat the side effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation, but also so friends and family feel like they have a hand in helping. We feel blessed that we can deliver on our mission. ROCK ON Sarina….and may you inspire all cancer patients to ROCK WITH YOU!
Sarin’a Story submitted by: