Presentation Title

The Countdown: Racing Against Cancer

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Abstract

The ultimate constraint that we face in life is time. We are constantly trying to beat the clock and finish everything before the alarm goes off. In this creative non-fiction essay, I tell the story of Michael Fraser during his final months of life. A family man, Michael wanted nothing more than to watch his family grow; however, once he was diagnosed with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma, a rare form of cancer, his entire perspective was shifted. Yet, instead of choosing to feel sorry for himself, he chose to use any small victories that he could and keep on living until the very end. The purpose of this essay is to not only celebrate Michaels courageous journey, but to delve into the complex nature of cancer. By exploring the biology behind cancer, this essay grapples with cancer’s complexity and devastating beauty. This is not a story I ever thought I would be telling, but I am grateful to be given the ability to share it with others.

Department

Biological Sciences

Creative non-fiction essay reading

Faculty Advisor

Lyn Baldwin and Matt Reudink

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The Countdown: Racing Against Cancer

The ultimate constraint that we face in life is time. We are constantly trying to beat the clock and finish everything before the alarm goes off. In this creative non-fiction essay, I tell the story of Michael Fraser during his final months of life. A family man, Michael wanted nothing more than to watch his family grow; however, once he was diagnosed with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma, a rare form of cancer, his entire perspective was shifted. Yet, instead of choosing to feel sorry for himself, he chose to use any small victories that he could and keep on living until the very end. The purpose of this essay is to not only celebrate Michaels courageous journey, but to delve into the complex nature of cancer. By exploring the biology behind cancer, this essay grapples with cancer’s complexity and devastating beauty. This is not a story I ever thought I would be telling, but I am grateful to be given the ability to share it with others.