Battle of the Bravest



A focus on a fighter
A focus on a fighter


Ann Koenig and Hunter Miller /ANN KOENIGHARTFORD, Conn. – All people face hardships in life; whether it’s getting a bad grade on a test, fighting with a close friend, or even having the pizza man put too much pepperoni on the pizza. To a hero, these problems don’t count as hardships. An example of a true hardship for a hero is something much more serious, dangerous, scary and threatening. One of the greatest, of course, is cancer.

Sadly, when many people hear the word cancer, they associate it with death. Sadly yes, people do pass away from this evil, dangerous disease, but just as many people fight and fight every day to live and be able to tell their grandchildren, “I survived.” A hero knows that no task sent to him/her will be easy. That is why through all of the vomiting, depression, curiosity of why such a terrible thing has happened to them, they fight through.

Heroes don’t give up because they know that each time they walk into that hospital room or one more piece of hair falls out in the shower it is one step closer to survival.

Noises can be a great thing: at the beach, hearing the ice cream truck or a favorite song. Or noises can be the indicator that your whole entire world is going to be flipped upside down. You always see kids getting upset after a low score on a quiz, but that is truly nothing to be shocked at or angry about, compared to when the noise heard by you was a diagnosis of one of the deadliest, scariest diseases known to man with no official cure. Hearing the phone ring with the doctor on the other end with the results can be an example of a noise that will turn your world upside down and make your world go dark in horror and shock.

Although at first, shock and anger are usually what hits your body full speed, like a cannonball, you gain strength through the fear and grow determination to fight, because losing is not an option.

Being diagnosed with cancer can feel like the end of the world. As a hero, it is important to remember that  other people have it worse. As a hero, you need to help people facing the same battle as you because they are, most likely, just as frightened or angry. By simply telling them that everything is going to be okay, they will look up to you as a true hero since you helped them during such a difficult, heart wrenching time.

Cancer, being such a scary thing in life, affects so many people, making their lives one big fight for survival or, in other words, one big hardship. It is not only the person with cancer who is being a hero by fighting for his/her life, but it is also a hardship for those around the person, giving the support that is so needed. With all of this being said, deep down, everyone has the ability to be a hero – it’s just up to each one to stand up, be brave, fight, support and show it.

Editor’s note: Hunter Miller, 14, is a student of Ann Koenig’s at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut.  He recently completed his last round of in-patient treatment at the Hospital, and is looking forward to spending time with family and friends.