The Impossible Disease

According to, Scientist Robb Wolf said cancer is a disease of the DNA. “The ancient Egyptians concluded back in 1600 B.C. that there is no treatment for the disease. Cancer is an illness that humans and other species have been fighting since they walked the Earth,” Said Wolf. “Well, cancer sucks, and I’d say it’s a pretty hardcore thing that a lot of people get. Obviously they don’t want it, but it just kind of occurs to them,” freshman Ashlyn Frickey said. Frickey has personal experiences with cancer. Her family has had many encounters with cancer. Her mother’s side of the family carries many cases of breast cancer. In fact, every woman on her mother’s side of the family has had breast cancer with the exception of her mother, her sister and herself, she said. “My mom, sister and I have to be tested all of the time just because it is a genetic thing,” Frickey said. “It’s a struggle knowing we could get breast cancer [or] any type of cancer really.” Frickey said growing up she had almost no clue that cancer was present in her life. She was exposed to cancer at a very young age and like many children, wasn’t aware of what cancer meant. “It never really occured to me that [cancer] was a deadly thing,” she said. Frickey said she grew up with her grandmother fighting cancer, which her grandma proudly overcame after years of courageously fighting. However, Frickey said she was oblivious to her grandmother’s condition. “My grandma used to take pills and wear a wig — I just never really knew that she had no hair,” Frickey said. She said she also had a friend she met through soccer named Kori Quinn. Kori had a passion for soccer and played it until she no longer could. In her time outside of school and soccer Kori committed her time to her own cancer foundation named I.R.O.K, which is Kori spelled backward. Frickey said she thought Kori was brave. Frickey said “Kori was almost 18 when she passed away of cancer. She was a soccer player that was diagnosed when she was 12 with [leukemia]. She was one of my best friends.” Madelyn Umentum, an 8th grader, faces similar problems with cancer. Umentum said she was young when her mother took her to her room that they had rented in Florida, when they were on vacation and told her that she had breast cancer. “Now I know how badly you can really feel when someone in your life gets cancer. I used to not understand the seriousness of it, but now I know that it can actually affect a family greatly and it is very devastating,” Umentum said. Umentum said a month later her grandmother said she was diagnosed with cancer as well. Umentum said, “I know my grandma has terminal lung cancer, and it’s so bad. My grandpa has had prostate cancer for three years now, and I am very grateful to still have him around [given he is 82 years old],” Umentum said she has been fighting the cancer along with her mother and grandparents, though she doesn’t have cancer. However, she said she chooses to think positively.Umentum said, “I knew cancer could kill people, and it could bring devastation to the families. Now I know it actually means that some people can become stronger. They can learn from it, and be cancer free for the rest of their lives.” Umentum and her family continue to fight cancer, she said. “We stay positive and follow God — that’s all we can do,” Umentum said. Sophomore Sydney Neal said she has experienced similar cancer cases in her family. “Cancer is this impossible disease,” Neal said. “Both my parents have had different types of cancer. My dad recently had melanoma, which is the most deadly kind of skin cancer. My grandpa has terminal lung cancer.” Unlike Frickey’s family, Neal said though many people in her family have had cancer, it isn’t genetic. Everyone in her family got their cancer from different sources. “My parents, since they both had skin cancer, they’re always on me to wear sunscreen and stuff, and with [my grandpa’s] lung cancer, it taught me not to be a smoker,” Neal said. Neal said cancer is a disease that destroys a lot [i.e. hopes, relationships, dreams]. She also said she has found good in the situations. “My grandpa and I aren’t very close, but since he thinks this cancer is terminal he is sticking around a bit more, which is good. We get to spend this last year with him,” said Neal. Neal said as far as support goes the community has helped her grandfather a lot. Neal said, “Often when people have cancer, the community gets involved. With my grandpa, since he’s not walking now, he’s going to be in a wheelchair soon. They built him a ramp on the side of his house so he can go upstairs.” Neal said she has learned to be careful to stay away from the situations that caused her family to get these cancers. Neal said, “Cancer affects millions of people all around the world. These are just a few cases of people I know who are affected by it.” Umentum said, “Cancer is just a disease. You can overcome it and come out stronger. We count our blessings and take it day by day.”