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My Younger Brothers Cancer


paigecaskey 1 / 1  
Feb 10, 2020   #1

common app prompt essay



I wrote this essay for the common app prompt. My English teacher urged us to stay away from cancer stories, but I feel this essay really speaks to my identity. Please let me know what you think, and if there are any corrections/if you think I should change the topic completely. Thanks!

Growing is an easy effort, and is hard to avoid due to the fact that it is inescapable when traveling through the journey of life. Growing up, however, can be colloquially defined as maturing your emotions and attitudes to those of an adult. Being raised as an only child was a privilege in my opinion. Although I had to experience my parents getting divorced and my father remarrying, my life was distant from being characterized as hard. The most substantial change in my life happened just after I had turned ten, when my brother was born.

Several months after my brother was born, he was diagnosed with Leukemia. That was one of the few times I witnessed my father cry. I had a hard time comprehending this concept at my age, and was tormented by thoughts of his future and health not reaching their fulfillment. I had made a promise to myself that I needed to be the best big sister and become a role model for him. My mom had custody of me at the time, and I was only able to see my brother around once a month. Each time I saw him, he displayed more and more signs of the illness. He was around 2 now, and bald from chemotherapy. He was so pale his veins were visible through his skin, and he had a port cut into his chest. At this point, I began to lose faith in God, wondering why he was taking life away from a child who had barely lived.

Unfortunately, in society today, healthcare is extravagantly expensive to the point where only the wealthy can afford to become sick. My family held fundraisers to help with the medical bills, but the costs were overwhelming. I thought my life at home couldn't get any worse, and I thought everything had hit rock bottom. This was until my stepmom, my brother's biological mother, decided to leave my family and move to Florida.

I was around thirteen now, and I knew that I had to keep the promise I had made to my brother 3 years ago. At this point, my father developed alcoholism, and my brother had no one. Not only was I his big sister, I was forced to morph into a maternal figure since his mother had left. This experience forced me to grow up incredibly fast, and I became incredibly mature for my age.

My experience in dealing with my brothers struggle through cancer changed me as a person. I was driven to become a better sister, daughter, and student because I have always been and always will be focused on making my family proud. I see the world through a different lense after almost losing my brother, now knowing that time is precious and shouldn't be wasted. My 5 year old brother taught me so much about life, and I carry his loving and fighting spirit with me everywhere I go. I hope that one day, I will be able to teach him some of what he taught me, and I hope he will be able to look at me as a role model.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,888 2167  
Feb 10, 2020   #2
Unfortunately, it is not your brother who is applying for admission to college. The essay speaks volumes of his plight in all its seriousness, but refers very little to the claims of affecting your maturity and coming of age sooner that you were normally expected to. The focus of the essay cannot be on your brother and his plight. It has to reflect how the plight affected you. I believe that the part where you said "...my brother had no one. I was forced to morph into a mother figure..." That is the most important part of this essay that brings the focus of his illness onto you. This is the background that is essential to your story. Explain how becoming his mother affected your sense of maturity. How you developed your sense of responsibility because of the situation. Why you believe that this was a pivotal character building event in your life.

You don't have to shy away from Cancer as a topic. You just need to know how to frame the discussion to make the Cancer a discussion about how you are a person well prepared for college today because of the demands that your bother's cancer heaped upon you. If you became the caretaker of your family because your father was an alcoholic and your brother was struggling with cancer, then refocus the presentation on that. Lessen the focus on your bother, focus more on the skills and mindset that you developed during this time. Make it clear that this experience is one that will help you tremendously once you begin to attend college.

The experience and how it helped you mature as a person and prepared you for college must be the focal point of the essay. You may want to consider writing a new essay with a new focus instead of trying to revise this one. It is more difficult to revise than it is to write a new essay.
Gaucho 3 / 8 1  
Feb 10, 2020   #3
Writing: Your writing is very good, I am just pointing out some grammatical and spelling mistakes that I found so that you can improve it.

-The correct spelling is travelling.
-Take off the comma after the sentences:
"I had turned ten, "
"... concept at my age,"
-The correct spelling is fulfilment
"He was around 2 now,"
-The sentence " ...but I was also forced to morph ..."

-The correct spelling is lense
5-year-old

I hope have helped.


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