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I owe a lot to cancer. While it leaves most with feelings of fear, despair, or pain, cancer left me with a passionate interest in the cancer radiation treatment process. When my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August of 2007; however, I definitely was not initially inspired—I was just plain petrified.
After my mother told me about my father’s diagnosis, I began to research different information about prostate cancer and treatment options. Once the radiation therapy actually began, I also started to ask my dad many questions about what the treatments were like. I was captivated by the stories he would tell me about the brilliant doctors and nurses that he encountered during his daily visits to Fox Chase Cancer Center. These stories not only made my initial fear disappear, but they also made me interested in the full treatment process. I became especially engrossed in the equipment used.
My favorite stories were about the physics engineer in charge of the operation of the equipment. The engineer would describe the different machines and their functions to my father. The mechanics behind the various lasers and other machinery seemed infinitely interesting to me and I became instantly fascinated with the entire process.
Up to that point I had thought about becoming an engineer because of my interest in math and science, but this to me seemed to be a sign that I was destined to get into engineering . Although many people at my age have little or no idea about their futures, I consider myself lucky that I have already found what I am going to do for the rest of my life. I now know that I want to one day become a biomedical engineer that designs all of the machinery used to save thousands of lives each day, and I have cancer to thank for that.
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