My mother smiled weakly at me in an effort to portray a strong and confident image, but I could tell she was as scared as I was. She reluctantly left the room as the nurses finished prepping me for surgery. I lay there in my hospital bed motionless, staring aimlessly into space. I could not close my eyes; the image of my mother and her tear-filled eyes was
seemingly etched into onto the back backs of my eyelids. [The metaphor goes without saying.] A few days earlier, an MRI scan had revealed a cancerous tumor growing from and constricting my spinal cord. I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma (comma) and the surgery for which I was scheduled was an attempt to remove or reduce the tumor.
When I woke from surgery, I was in a haze from the
large amounts of pain medication, but Iwas conscious enough to be overwhelmed with joy; I had made it through. The happiness, however, quickly dissipated as I realized that I was bedridden — I could not walk, stand, or even feel my legs. It was during this time of personal crisis that I received inspiration from an unlikely source, (replace comma with colon) my bedside neighbor. His name was Albert, a 72-year-old, seasoned veteran in of his own battle with cancer. When I asked him what kept him going, he told me, “Life is short and I have too much to live for." Albert’s ethos, although not a novel one, gave me new perspective; it gave me new hope. Cancer was a major setback, but I was determined not to let it hijack my life. From then on, Albert was my number one fan, and I was his. After countless hours of physical therapy, I gradually regained the ability to walk with the aid of a walker. I was able to make it to the door of my hospital room as Albert watched proudly from his bed, smiling and cheering me on the whole way. Although he was practically a stranger, Albert helped me understand and appreciate the true meaning of perseverance and its rewards. I finished up my physical therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment my sophomore year of college and Ihave been cancer-free ever since.
I was in the hospital, I met people filled with hope and faith, but oftentimes behind these those outward displays of strength, (delete comma) there lurked feelings of fear and worry. I listened to them as they talked about how they had to mortgage their homes to finance their medical debt. My own medical bills amounted to over $225,000, but I was fortunate enough to have comprehensive health insurance. I empathized with them because their situation easily could have been my own. [Consider a paragraph break here.]
I returned to my undergraduate studies with a yearning to find purpose. During my business ethics and business law courses, I learned more about the problems that complicate our healthcare system. Elizabeth Warren’s book The Two-Income Trap, in particular, aroused and defined my desire to go to law school. In her book, she discusses the effect of an unanticipated event, such as a serious illness, on the financials of middle-income families. The result of such an event is devastating, even if the family had health insurance at the onset of their medical problems. As I did more research, I realized that many of those who were involved in either exposing or attempting to fix the problems of our healthcare system came from law-related backgrounds. I recognized that knowledge of the law and legal system is a powerful tool that can be used to
affect effect change. ["bring about" is a unique usage]
Albert’s ability to inspire and support has also had a substantial effect on me. When I was in the hospital, I had no idea
of how to deal with my situation, but Albert used his knowledge and experience to help me get move beyond the effects of cancer. I aspire to do for others what he did for me; I want to be able to guide people through hardship. The families that I talked to were faced with the toughest times of their lives, but they had lawyers to help navigate them through difficult legal processes such as bankruptcy and appeals to health insurance coverage denials. I am drawn to the law profession because advocacy is its very foundation.
Fighting and overcoming cancer at a young age has given me the wisdom and courage to boldly pursue my passions with confidence. Six rounds of chemotherapy, eight weeks of radiation, and a river of sweat and tears have transformed me: Through my experiences, I have achieved clarity through hardship; perspective and ambition through adversity. One of my aspirations is to have a meaningful impact on others and to better the world. [These are actually TWO of your aspirations. If you want to keep "one," perhaps something like "One of my aspirations is to better the world by having a meaningful impact on others."] While this is my dream, I am not exclusively a dreamer; (replace semicolon with colon) I am also a realist. I know that making a substantial difference in the world requires many factors, many of which are well beyond my control. However, much like cancer was out of my control, I will not be deterred
by difficult odds. [The presence of forces outside one's control does not necessarily indicate difficult odds. In the cases of meaningful impact and beating cancer, they happen to be powerful, negative forces, so they DO result in bad odds, but you're still making a slightly tangential jump. Perhaps there are some forces outside your control that are on your side. It just feels out of place.] If I am able to advocate and provide support for those in need, then I will be satisfied. It is after deep personal reflection that I believe that the law profession is aptly aligned with my interests, aptitudes, and ambitions.