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Ben Teller: One Year Later

Posted on February 17, 2011, 4:14 AM
Ben Teller: One Year Later

SU2C vlogger Ben Teller gives an update on his progress as the one-year anniversary of his stem cell transplant approaches.

It has been 324 days since my stem-cell transplant, so that means I am almost one year old. I cannot believe how fast time goes by. I still remember that drive home from the hospital. How amazing, and freeing it felt to simply have the sun shine on my face and the wind blow my hair, much like I imagine a dog feels on his first car ride, and then, to be able to sleep in my own bed and not be woken up every few hours to test this or that, awww…. simple pleasures I won’t soon forget. From where I was then and to where I am now seems a bit unbelievable, surreal even. If somebody would have told me then that come a year I would be back at school, playing sports everyday, going to the gym, and living my life so much so that nobody could even tell I was near death’s door only a short while ago, I’d call them crazy. Well, as it turns out, they would not have been crazy because here I am!

I started school AGAIN in the fall of 2010 and, in a short period of time, got right back to it. There were days that weren’t easy. Some that reminded me of the tough struggle I recently went through, achy, weak, and tired. And then there were other days where I was just happy to be, “normal” again. Of course there were the monthly visits to the doctor, and the daily medications, but my life during this time was as close to normal as one can imagine. Honestly, I could not have been happier. (It was at this time that I knew I had been a bit down when I was recovering at home) Looking back, getting back into a regular schedule, which school provided, was the best medicine.

As I write this, I am slogging through midterms (as every college kid does), I am going out on the weekends, and playing on different sports teams throughout the week. Although I live my life away from home, I never forget how much my family and friends were, and still are, there for me. I believe it is this knowledge that keeps me grounded, and appreciating every moment of every day and not getting caught up in any big picture fears or worries.

During my recovery, I applied for scholarships to help my family out with school. (It turns out that even with good insurance cancer costs can cripple families financially- this is my plug for better health care for all!!) In September of 2007, I was awarded $4000 from Cancer for College towards UC Irvine. I was 1 of 7 people to receive this amount out of thousands of applicants. This foundation, started by an amazing man named Craig Pollard 18 years ago, gives students with cancer a second chance at school. His best friend Will Ferrell is a huge part of this foundation and I was fortunate enough to meet and spend a weekend with the whole foundation in San Diego. I also helped support Cancer for College with, “Cup for a Cause” in which 7-11 and Cancer for College partnered to raise money for their charity through a clever coffee cup design by Will Ferrell. Check out the photos!!

Through it all, I have tried to remain aware of how fortunate I am for what I have been given in the form of support, care, and love and I continually try to give back. The support I received through Stand Up 2 Cancer, Cancer for College, Cuck Fancer, my family and friends was boundless. To this day, I have raised over $20,000 through Cuck Fancer and I am working on growing this organization to benefit other cancer patients the same way it benefited me. For all of us, everyday obstacles come our way, some larger and harder than others; but, it is those obstacles whatever they may be that make us grow as people and shed light on what is most important in our lives. I am truly thankful for all that has been done for me, and I cannot wait to find the vehicle that will provide the opportunity to find my life’s purpose, that is giving back in ways that make a difference.

With a whole lot of love for the SU2C family!
Ben

 


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