I Say Yes to Brighter Days Ahead
By Miguel Navarro, Seattle, Washington
Seattle Children’s is a special place. Other hospitals I’ve been to have had a very melancholy feel, but the second I walked into Seattle Children’s I knew it was different – it felt like home. Little did I know that it would become my second home.
How I got my bionic shoulder
I arrived in December 2017 at the age of 18 with a diagnosis of osteosarcoma in my proximal humerus (aggressive bone cancer with a huge tumor in my shoulder). I had been boxing with my friends to blow off steam after a big test, and when one of them hit my shoulder, it snapped. That was when my life changed.
My treatment included 31 weeks of harsh chemotherapy with a huge surgery in the middle of it all. During the surgery, I got a prosthetic shoulder that was created using a 3-D model of my own shoulder. The top half of my humerus bone was also replaced with a metal rod – I like to show it off and joke that it’s my good side!
Chemo was tough, but I’m tougher. Not all times were sunshine and rainbows, but I made sure I stayed positive. That didn’t mean that I was happy and well all the time, but knowing that better days were coming helped me stay positive. Each day I spent lying in bed with no energy meant I was a day closer to running around with my friends. Each day in the hospital brought me that much closer to enjoying my momma’s home-cooked meals. Each day I spent sweating in rehab meant I’d someday use the stick shift in my car again. I’m happy to say that because of the nine months of terrible chemo I endured, I’ve been cured of all my pain, suffering and sickness.
I am cancer-free.
“I got a prosthetic shoulder that was created using a 3-D model of my own shoulder…I like to show it off and joke that it’s my good side!”
Gratitude for the life I’m living
I am so thankful for Seattle Children’s and everyone who made it my second home – not just the doctors, but all the social workers, chefs, nurses, physical therapists, schedulers and housekeepers. I’m living my best life today because this team of people makes it their life’s work to help kids like me get better.
I also made it through my treatment because of uncompensated care. Seattle Children’s financial assistance program helped me stay focused on getting better because I didn’t have to stress out about how my family would come up with the money to pay all my medical bills.
When donors like you say yes and make a gift to help patients like me, it goes a long way. You’re not just helping with care, you’re saving lives. Thank you for helping save my life.
“I’m starting college soon and want to become a social worker so I can help other kids.”
People tell me I’m a hero, but I’m just Miguel. I’m starting college soon and want to become a social worker so I can help other kids. My goal is to show them that if you put your mind to it, you can do whatever you want. It’s not the end of the world if you get cancer; there’s life after cancer.
Nancy Reagan said, “Just say no.” (And I agree that you should say no to drugs.)
But my version goes like this: Just say yes.
Yes to research,
Yes to finding cures,
Yes to providing the best form of care to every patient, no matter their background.
I know I’ll always say yes to Seattle Children’s, because everyone there said yes to me.
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About It Starts With Yes
It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children’s is a bold initiative – $1 billion bold – to partner with our community and deliver on our shared vision to transform children’s health for generations to come. With your generous support, we can envision a day when we can say yes to hope, care and cure for every child. See what your yes can do donate today.