What does it mean to be human?
When I first met Stephanie, the first thing that struck me was her magnetism. Despite her physical limitations, this sweet young lady radiated positive energy and hope.
While working on her story, the thought—the possibility—of someone young enough to be my kid showing me about “the human experience” was the farthest thing from my mind.
A massive tumor caused the strange pain. By the time Stephanie received the news, the malignant tumor had advanced. The success of chemotherapy to save her leg was questionable at this time according to her doctors.
At first, Stephanie thought the strange pain in her left leg was due to bumping her limb somehow. After a while, she noticed the pain wouldn’t go away.
Little did Stephanie know the time she presently took for granted, like most young adults, would be the thing she would be longing for a year later.
A biopsy confirmed Stephanie had cancer.
How we all learn about life's obstacles, lessons, and victories, is an enigma. But the one thing that is clear is that every human experience has a profound imprint on our spirit.
When my partner and I started getting to know Stephanie, her comfort zone, and her new body image was so much different.
In a matter of months, a new person emerged. At 23, Stephanie is no longer afraid of death.
During one of these many intimate interviews, Stephanie shared with me that she never thought before about getting sick. Never in a million years would she have thought of losing a part of her body to cancer.
I guess we have all experienced similar emotions in the past without really putting much thought into it.
Life has a way of making all of us face bad situations; some tend to rise to the event with wisdom and courage, regardless of age.
I can only say that my career as a documentarian is continually evolving my spirit.
A precious gift that I cherish. It has provided me with a window of opportunity to learn about the human experiences of others.