Essays are due as noted on the syllabus. Remember, they are creative essays and NOT scientific reports. You should not have any scientific footnotes or references. Do NOT do any research. All the science you need can be found in the Richards/Hawley book, but again... do not reference it, state the material in your own words. Your paper should be at least 8 typed pages, but preferably no more than 10. (You need not limit yourself to a story, Plays, dialogues, newspaper accounts, scrapbooks, collections of letters, even epic poetry will do just fine - no videos. BE CREATIVE)
Essays will be graded as Pass, Honors or Fail. YOU MUST PASS THE ESSAY TO PASS THE CLASS!!! A grade of Pass does not affect your class grade. A grade of Honors raises your grade by ˝. If you Fail the essay: you will have at least ONE chance to re-write it and turn it in for a passing grade. Passing essays may NOT be re-written.
A note on getting Honors: an Honors paper stands out from the rest. It is imaginative, CREATIVE, empathic, believable, tear-jerking, funny, hysterical... It is something we might want to read twice. An Honors paper is NEW, EXCITING and FRESH!
7. Victor and Iris are a young couple with a very sick child, who has fallen ill with leukemia. They know that the child's best chance for survival depends on finding a bone marrow donor, but they can find none on the list that would be compatible. Desperate for some hope, they decide to use embryo selection to have another child who can also serve as a donor to his or her sibling. They'd always thought they would grow their family, anyway. Moreover the new child would be able to donate through the newer method of blood filtration, so no surgery would be required. Though the process could still cause aches and pains, and there would be some risk. Try to think ahead 12-20 years - how might this solution be explained to both children? How might they react? Consider writing from Mom, Dad, or child's point of view:
A Mothers Story:
Today as I sit watching my two children Victoria now 13 and Christian 11, play outside I think back how some twelve years ago my husband and I's life was turned upside down, in a matter of seconds. I remember it perfectly it was a chilly fall afternoon in mid-November 1994 when I discovered that I was pregnant. My husband and I were very excited for we wanted to have a family. After a long awaited and somewhat stressful nine months for my husband and I, I gave birth to a perfectly beautiful and healthy baby girl named Victoria. My husband was overwhelmed with emotion for she was going to be "daddy's little girl."
After a few days in the hospital we were able to leave and go to our home, which we were very nervous for as new parents and not knowing the ropes of taking care of a newborn baby, and being on our own for the first time. The first night was breeze for Victoria was a quiet and peaceful baby, who slept throughout the night, but we were skeptical as to whether she'd be like this every night. But after several weeks to our surprise she hardly ever fussed or screamed in the middle of the night. As months went by my husband and I wanted to assure that we were doing our best to allow Victoria grow into a healthy baby. We went to her monthly check-ups and got her monthly shots, assured she was taken care of and fed throughout the day. When it was cold made sure she was bundle up and in the summer we assured she stayed cool and out of the heat, so that she wouldn't get sick.
After following all of the right steps and doing what the doctors said we helped Victoria stay healthy and being sick as a baby. Soon after what seemed like a few months of giving birth to Victoria it was now time for her first birthday; which my husband and I were very excited for but at the same time kind of sad for the time had flown by so fast. A few weeks prior to her first birthday we noticed a change in Victoria she wasn't as active as usual, so we called the doctor and he said it could be from a number of things and that we should just keep on eye on her. So we did but still no change after a week so we took her in the doctor examined her and found nothing wrong with her, so we went on our way. But then on the day of her birthday she wasn't eating, looked pale, still had no energy and had a fever. So I called the doctor and he told me to give her some Tylenol to break the fever.
We gave her the medicine and ended the night early but throughout the night Victoria was restless and uncomfortable. Morning came and she had, had little sleep and was still bearing a fever and pale. My husband and I opted to take her for we feared she had gotten the flu or a cold. The doctor checked her out but ruled out the flu and the cold, so he decided to run so more test to see what was wrong with Victoria. After several hours of waiting the doctor finally was done, my husband and I were relieved to see him to get some answers and know what was wrong with Victoria, so we could get her treated to be healthy and back to her old self again.
What the doctor was about to tell us in the next few minutes was something my husband and I would have never imagined nor forget. He came out, sat next to us and said, "Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel after running several test we have discovered that your daughter has leukemia." After hearing that I had felt as if I had taken a blow to the stomach, it had a dropped and I had begun to tremble. My world had seemed to be coming to an end for I thought to myself that I was a bad mother who had made a mistake in caring for my daughter, and that I was the cause for her getting leukemia.
Victor and I sat in shock, as the doctor gave us a few moments, to process what we had just found out, before filling us in on what was about to come for us. As we sat there I thought to myself how if somehow I could stop the world and go back when everything was fine or go back and change something so that our outcome would be different. But I knew that wasn't possible and over the next few months or years my family was about to face everyone's worse nightmare that your child has cancer. But worse we knew that our daughter was about to face her toughest journey of her life in fighting this cancer and that she was going to need us there every step of the way to get through this.
After we had gotten over the shock of the news the doctor came and explained to us everything we needed to know in how to best fight this disease. He first recommended that we go to St. Jude's hospital which houses some of the best pediatric oncologist doctors who would guide and give our daughter the best treatment in fighting this disease. Also they would be very informative of the processes and treatments she would be receiving.
After spending a good portion of our Friday in one hospital we trekked down to St. Jude's hospital where we met and spoke to one of the oncologist there. Hoping to receive some relief from the doctor he informed us that Victoria's best chance of surviving and having a normal active life she would need a bone marrow donor. Generally when looking for a donor your best bet is a sibling but being which Victoria was our first child we had to turn other means and look at unrelated donors, who matched perfectly with Victoria. After several weeks of searching for matches we got more bad news in that no one on their list was compatible with Victoria. So wondering where we go from here and not wanting to bounce from hospital to hospital in search for a match; while Victoria went through painful restless days and letting the cancer eat at her little body. The doctor suggested that they could do an embryo selection and find a child that matched perfectly with Victoria to be her donor. The doctor told us if we chose to do this they could use a new method of blood filtration where surgery would be required, but warned us there was still risk of complications and pain.
After her this right away we wanted to do it, because we always wanted a big family and it was great opportunity to help our daughter in need while growing our family. But we also had to consider our faith, belief, and morals of whether this was right to choose a certain baby over another. After a day of talking it over with one another we decided to go ahead and do the process for we did not want our little girl to suffer anymore and continue to put her through pain and torture; when we had a possible cure right in front of us. Once we told the doctor our decision he started right away testing several of my embryos to find a match. But because this process can be a very long one he decided to begin Victoria on chemotherapy so that it would spread and control the cancer for now.
The next several weeks were difficult watching your daughter be pricked and poked crying in pain for you knowing that you couldn't do anything but sit by her side and watch her endure it. So many of the days sitting there while she got treatment, I prayed and wished that I could take the pain upon myself that she was feeling and she could live a normal day being a one year old. But I couldn't and it broke my heart to look into her big beautiful blue eyes that were filled with tears and pain, knowing I couldn't do anything. The treatment was more trying on my husband he could never sit through a whole treatment knowing his little girl was going through that pain. Some days when he was there Victoria would put on a big smile and be strong for her daddy, this amazed me and gave me hope that she was strong and was going to get through this.
After three long months of chemo the doctor called us one early morning saying that he had found an embryo perfectly matched to Victoria. Later on that afternoon I had an appointment to induce the embryo in me. After that we just had to wait 9 more months and continue to watch Victoria endure chemo, but at least we had hope of it being over for her soon. It had been three months and the baby was growing and healthy, but what was about to happen in the next couple of months was something we didn't expect to happen. After four and half months of carrying the child I began to experience difficulties and once my fifth month came I had lost the baby, so once again we had faced a bump in the road and all of our hopes were shattered. We knew that this meant more waiting for the doctors to find another match and more chemo for Victoria.
Feeling hopeless we decided to give Victoria a day of freedom from treatment and let her have a normal day. It was a Sunday we took her to mass praying for protection over our little girl and a miracle, as we were there we asked the priest to bless keep her in his prayers through this journey. After mass we went home changed her into play clothes and took my parents dog to the park, who Victoria loved as a baby and he her. After spending the afternoon, early evening at the park we decided to call it a day for Victoria's little body was tired and had handle all the fun she could for one day. Once we had returned home and put Victoria to bed we watched her sleep peacefully for once, as if nothing was wrong with her, when we got a phone call. To our surprise it was the doctor saying that they have another embryo that matches. Once we heard this we began to think that our prayers were being answered and our miracle was coming true.
The next morning we got up early went to Church to thank God and ask the priest for another blessing. Once we left the Church we headed straight to the doctor office to begin the process again. Over the next several months I took things carefully to ensure the same outcome wouldn't happen again, we also added saying a rosary each night asking God to watch over us and allow us to have this baby. Seven months had passed and everything was still going good the baby was healthy and strong. Finally in December I gave birth to a healthy little boy named Christian to symbolize Christ and Victoria's little savior. Immediately the doctors took him and ran test to assure that he still matched up perfectly to Victoria.
After three months of being born baby Christian was still healthy and growing strong, while Victoria was able to get off chemo, and starting to grow and be stronger herself. Granted it was a relief to know that Victoria didn't have to go through chemo anymore it was still tough to know that I would be putting both of my children through another possible painful process. I just had to keep reminding myself that this was for the good in hope that Victoria will survive and overcome this and be able to be a normal girl.
Though this was a trying and stressful time for my family it was also a blessing in an unusual way. It helped bring my family closer with each other and see the importance of one another. It also gave Victoria the chance to watch her little brother grow, take care of him, and bond with him through the treatments. Even though the hospital was a depressing place for our family it was also a place where we had our most joyful moments and greatest memories. As each day pass and Victoria continued to receive her treatments we saw a change and improvement in her. Her smile was brighter and her laugh louder something we hadn't seen from her ever since she had gotten cancer.
After a year of receiving the blood filtration from baby Christian, the doctors were able to inform us that it had been a success and Victoria now was cancer free and had good blood cells to help keep her healthy and immune system strong. We still kept a close watch on her to make sure nothing went wrong and she would relapse, we also kept a close watch out on Christian to make sure he didn't develop leukemia and that we would have to relive this process again. Even though this was a tough, long, and difficult battle for Victoria and our family, it has been an inspirational one to Victor and me. It has taught us not to take like for granted, live life to the fullest, and let the people you know who matter the most to you how you feel about them. Also it has shown us how strong our daughter is, and that when everything seems to be going wrong or against you not to give up, keep on fighting and pushing forward.
Looking at my two children today people probably would have never guessed that Victoria had cancer and went through many months of painful chemo treatments and a bone-marrow transplant, or that Christian was her donor. Because they both are strong healthy normal looking kids. In a way it is a blessing that we had discovered Victoria's cancer at such a young age for she doesn't really remember much of the pain she went through or that she could have died. She can now live a normal life without having to recall or remember those horrible times in her life.
But as they get older and learn more about this disease and understand it more, I know it's going to be tough explaining why Victor and I chose to do what we did. I just hope that they will understand that we love both of them equally and wanted to have more kids, and didn't just do this to save Victoria's life. When the time comes I will show them the pictures and journal entries I wrote as we went through this difficult time. I will explain that their father and I were in such a great confusion and stress trying to decide whether or not we wanted to do through with this, and that we discussed and thought it all out before making our decision. I also help that they will appreciate and understand my love for them and that I hated watching them go through this and how much of toll it took on me. Knowing that I could have sat back and watched my daughter slowly die or fulfill my dream of having another child and saving my little girl and their great and strong big sister. I hope they'll appreciate the bond they experienced throughout this time and how our family became so close with one another, and are there for one another throughout their lives.
If I had to face this situation again I would stick with the same decision. For when you are put in that situation seeing the person you gave birth to go through the pain they do, and them looking at you because you're the one supposed to protect them from harm; knowing that you can't do anything to take the pain away, you'll see that your prospective has changed. Especially when you're presented the opportunity to stop the pain of your child and bring to the world a new life. As a parent that has had to go through this journey I hope that my kids as parents someday don't and other parents in the world never have to experience this, because it's the worse feeling in the world. But if you do the only solution is to be there for one another, because it's not a time to abandon one another you need all the support you can get to get through it. As I said earlier I hope as my kids get older that they understand my husbands and my decision and don't have anger or animosity towards us or one another.