As you all know, it has been quite a year.

I started this blog in pursuance of answers to seemingly impossible questions. I was in a situation that had become very old very quickly, and rather frightening at that. You all read my trials and tribulations as simply making it through the actions of a normal day became a struggle for me. I shared my gratitude for finding the answers my family and I had been seeking for so long, although I have come to realize that countless others spend much longer than I do in search for what I found. I expressed my nerves as well as seemingly impossible confidence upon entering surgery. And I relayed the wonderful news of success succeeding it.

In some way, you all got to experience some of the battle that I fought my senior year. Each week you came to read this little post, you shared some of my daily happenings, and even just by reading this you supported me in some way. I have been told by a few people that my words on this have impacted many lives, but it is difficult for me to see, as I always saw all my supporters as an influence to myself, not the other way around. Just knowing that more than my parents read this meant the world to me, and finding out that we had so many people sending positive thoughts and prayers our way throughout this entire process completely took me aback in awe, as I really began to realize the magnificence of the community that I live in.

There is an immense power in a united front. It is seen in countless examples in history, in wars and protests and calls to action. People, if all focused on the same thing, can produce such profound change it is almost unfathomable. This year, I experienced that myself through the power of people’s prayer. With all my friends, my family, my peers, and many people I have never even met, I came out of a surgery that a significant amount of others do not live through, let alone be completely void of any complications. I am the product of a small miracle, a walking representation of what faith, even the size of a mustard seed, can do. And I am so eternally thankful and proud to say that I am.

This year changed me in ways I never expected myself to be changed. I have now garnered a deeper compassion for others than I ever realized was possible; I have grown tremendously in my faith and gained wisdom that many do not even get the opportunity to learn. Some people have expressed their condolences to me for undergoing such a strenuous year, but I rather dislike this sympathy, for I would not trade what I have gone through if ever given the chance. While I did miss out on many aspects of my school year, I also had an incomparable chance to grow closer to God, as well as the opportunity to gain insight to the complex and mystic meaning of life, and the strength and effect that a connected community can have on a person.

As I wrap up a blog that I never dreamed I would ever have to start, I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to read everything that I have been through. My family and I are deeply grateful for the amazing support we have received over the year, and I cannot express enough how much it means to each of us. As I stated earlier, this year has changed me. And while each moment in our lives shapes us in some way or another, I hope that you all strive to welcome change for the good and focus on the positivity of each situation you are encountered with. Remember that even in the darkest of times, there always remains a light somewhere, you just simply need to be willing to find it. Never cease pursuing it, and eventually it will shine upon you once more.

If you particularly enjoyed my writing this year, I invite you to follow my story on my new blog at . This will not be strictly adhering to the topic of my health; I plan on spending time on various topics, really whatever comes to mind each week. I thank you once again for following me throughout my journey; the words I have written each week on here have helped me in ways that is difficult to describe to others. I hope they had a favorable effect on you as well.