This is a story I had to write in my senior year of high school, for my English class. I decided to reread it and edit it before posting.

Family Dilemmas

The Carolstine family had always been a normal, adventurous family. The parents, Sophie and Ryder, were in their mid-twenties and went on trips every other weekend. A few years after they married, the two were blessed with a healthy six pound eight-ounce baby girl—whom they named Gracie Noelle. As she grew into a toddler, she hit all her milestones right on time; sometimes she even hit them a little early. Once she turned four, though, things started to go wrong.

Shortly after her fourth birthday, her parents noticed she seemed a bit run down and figured she was just coming down with the flu. So, her mother called the pediatrician to call something in for her and within a half hour, she went to pick up the prescription.

After a few days with the antibiotics in her system, Gracie finally started feeling better. Her parents were relieved when they saw color return to their daughter's body. And soon after, she was back to her normal cheerful self.

For the next few weeks, Gracie felt wonderful; and because she was so full of energy, her parents decided to enroll her into a dance class so she could release some of it.

Each day they were taught a new dance routine and each night when she would return home, that was all she would talk about with her parents.

Dancing soon became her favorite activity; she would not only dance at her practices but she'd also dance at home just for the sheer entertainment and fun it brought.

After months of dance classes, Gracie slowly began to grow weaker. She, being a young and cheerful little girl, had not realized this but her parents certainly did. Days before her dance classes' big recital, she started showing early signs of having the flu. Her mother instantly called the doctor, hoping he'd write a prescription for her; but this time he told her that he thought she should bring Gracie in for a check-up.

Little did they know how dramatically this appointment would change their lives.

A few hours later had them sitting in the doctor's office, waiting to be seen. Waiting and having patience was something Gracie did not know the meaning of. With the amount of energy she had, sitting in a waiting room was the last thing she wanted to do. Fortunately for her, within a few minutes of waiting, they were finally called back.

The nurse took Gracie's height and weight, which happened to be a little lower than average. But because she was born a preemie, this was considered normal for her. After the nurse recorded both into her medical charts, she took her blood pressure and her temperature.

"Gracie does seem to have a small temperature but that's fine. I'm sure she's only suffering from a small cold. And because she takes dance lessons with many other children, they can spread germs quite easily," the nurse spoke as she wrote the young child's temperature down.

She gathered her things and walked towards the door, "Doctor Glavine will be in shortly," and with that, she was out the door.

They sat in silence for nearly ten minutes before the door finally creaked open.

Doctor Glavine was a bit on the short side but had done very well in his practice. He smiled as he entered the room and made his way over to his young patient. "Good morning, Gracie. I've heard you're not feeling that well today. Is that so?" He asked as he rummaged through her medical records.

The young girl looked down at her shoes as she quietly replied to him, "Yes, that's so, sir." She continued to look at her shoes, not thinking to mention the symptoms she was suffering.

Her mother knew she wouldn't mention anything, for how shy the young child was.

Sophie looked towards the doctor before she spoke up.

"Gracie's been weak for about a week now, she didn't mention anything to us, but Ryder and I can easily tell when she's sick. She's also been complaining of a really sore neck, along with stomach aches and ear aches. We've been giving her some Children's Motrin thinking it would help alleviate some of her symptoms, but to no avail. So, we're hoping you will tell us what's wrong with her."

The doctor listened carefully to what she was saying and began examining Gracie. He first checked her ears, and noticed they did seem a bit irritated. After he finished that, he checked her breathing which ended up being normal; but what startled him was when he felt around her neck. He felt around it again to make sure what he was feeling was really there. And when he knew for sure, he looked up at the girl's mother with sympathy.

"You're going to have to take her to see a specialist. I've felt around her neck several times to make sure I knew what it was and now I know what I suspected it to be, is what it is. Your daughter has a huge lump on her neck, and I'm going to have to refer you to an oncologist."

At six years old now, Gracie suffered through two and a half years of chemotherapy for her stage two lymphoma and is on a waiting list for a kidney donor. What used to be a cheerful and happy toddler has now become an ill stricken, fatigued young child. Her parents revolved everything they did around her and tried everything they could to make her feel better. Though with all the medical bills they had to pay, they could not afford to take her to a better hospital.

Ryder decided, after months of pondering the idea, that he would apply for a better paying job in New York. Not only would this job help them pay off their medical bills, but it would also allow Gracie to stay in one of the best hospitals in the country.

Ever since he found this job in New York, he began researching for hospitals nearby. The hospital he found, called Shady Heights Medical Center, turned out to be a very highly advanced cancer research center. He read that the doctors there have cured over millions of people with both early and late stage cancers.

So, after he and Sophie talked about it, they made the decision to pack up their belongings and move from their home in North Carolina all the way to New York City.

Sophie and her six-year-old daughter, Gracie, were on their way to New York City. Her husband had already been moved and settled in, in their three-bedroom apartment, since he needed to start his job as soon as possible. Sophie decided that she and their daughter would wait until the school year was over, before they moved.

"Hi daddy!" Gracie exclaimed as she jumped out of the car and ran straight in to her father's arms. "I missed you, daddy."

Her father held her tight while giving his wife a small glance. It was very hard for him to be away from them for so long, but now that they were finally there, he couldn't be any happier.

"I missed you as well, Gracie; you and mommy both," he spoke in a soft tone as he stroked the small amount of hair she still had. "I promise from now on, I won't ever be away from the two of you again."

Months later had Gracie recovering in the hospital from her kidney transplant. It took them a while to find a donor but the person they found happened to be a huge blessing.

A young girl, who lived in foster care all her life, was born with an odd, yet miraculous condition in which she ended up with three kidneys rather than two. She decided that she wanted to find someone who needed one so she could give that person her spare one. The foster care facility where she was living at, at the time, had come to her with news that there was a six-year-old girl in a nearby hospital suffering with lymphoma and was in dire need of a kidney transplant. She, without hesitance, volunteered to donate her extra kidney and in return Gracie's parents decided to take her in. If she did well living with them, they would opt to adopt her.

Many months passed since then. Gracie did extraordinarily well with her new kidney; she was finally in remission.

Her kidney donor—and now adopted sister—had been doing very well living with them; she and Gracie became quite close. Both were enrolled in a nearby dance school where they could let out their energy.

With the help of others, the Carolstine's could finally pay off their medical bills and were overly joyed with Gracie's finally being back to her normal self.