Topic: Please submit a 'visual poem', in a style of your choosing, on the theme of overcoming a personal challenge.
Statement from 1800wheelchair
1800wheelchair is very proud to announce the winner of our Spring '16/Summer '16 scholarship contest. With well over 400 entries, this one stood apart for its arresting visuals and its compelling story.
Winning Submission: Personal Statement
The inspiration behind this poem are the struggles I have had to deal with going through life being handicapped. My teenage years were spent in hospitals trying to stabilize me. When I was ten years old I was on the brink of death after I had a massive stroke that paralyzed my right side. The next seventy-two hours was truly a game of trying to keep me alive. I kept blacking out, I was, for the most part comatose. After those seventy-two hours I had to retrain my brain on everything, it was like I was starting from scratch as a new born baby. I had to learn how to eat, talk, walk, read and write all over again. My life was turned upside down and inside out and to top it off I did not understand half of what the doctors were saying, given that I was only ten.
When I was finally able to go back to school, half the year had already gone by. I had lost my hair due to chemo, and I had gained around seventy pounds due to all of the steroids I was taking. The friends I had since kindergarten did not know what to say to me so they just did not say anything at all to me. I became a recluse for the next ten years.
In the following years I had blood clots shooting into my brain, two major brain surgeries with a mini stroke, also known as a TIA, in between them. I got seizures from stress caused because my father making my mother and me run from everything we had known and putting two states in between us and his abusiveness. I went into a major depression after my mother and I moved away from my father. When I was nineteen I got the shingles from once again stress, however this time it was because my mother nearly flatlined after her knee replacement because she had a blood clot in her lungs.
My life has been one giant rollercoaster from the day I had my stroke when I was ten years old, to the serious depression I went through from the age of 16 to 20. I have had to battle for my life more times than I care to count. I have had my emotions thrown out the window of a fighter jet and me going after them. I have realized that finding the little joys throughout the day is the best medicine.
I have been through more hard times than I wish on anyone. Even though I have looked death in the eyes one to many times, I have come out on the other side a different person then I was going in. I have come out happier than ever with dreams to fulfill and as I said in my poem I would not give up any of the hardships I have had to struggle with for they have made me who I am today, a bright and smiling person ready for whatever the world throws at her.