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Virginia’s Story

September 27, 2019 | By Rachel Zink

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Virginia is not afraid to try new things and has the amazing ability to always see the good in life. When she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma the summer before her senior year in high school in 2017, she simply saw it as part of her life’s journey. Virginia had always wanted to be a doctor. She was okay with her hospital stays because she’s comfortable being in the medical environment – and knew it would make her a better doctor, too.

During her first three years of high school, Virginia was an avid athlete and would be the first to tell you: she’s not an artist. When cancer took away Virginia’s athletic outlet, instead of being disheartened, she was open to new possibilities. When an Arts For Life teacher first came to her hospital room to see if she wanted to do art, she said, “Why not?”

She and her parents strummed guitars with Arts For Life music teachers, painted watercolors with art teachers, and dreamed up new words with creative writing teachers. During her eight months of treatment in and out of the hospital, she finished her senior year coursework, applied to colleges, was crowned homecoming queen, and was accepted to UNC-Chapel Hill. She finished her treatment just before her 18th birthday, adopted a dog, and gave her senior graduation speech. She is now starting her sophomore year at UNC with the goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.

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