My name is Karina and I am a 17 year old at Lake Nona High School. I was super excited for my senior year and to enjoy all the senior activities, but clearly life had different plans. The day before my senior year, I ended up in the ER to find that I had a mass in my leg. Officially on September 6, 2022, I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma Stage 3 Group 3; and my whole world changed. I had to learn about things I never thought I would have to learn about. I found out that my cancer is very rare and that there are so many different types of cancer out there. I also found out that there are SOOOO MANY kids with cancer. I never realized how many kids are going through this.
I currently attend school online due to my various appointments and in person chemotherapy treatments. I am towards the finish line of my treatment which is so exciting. While treatment is hard on my body, I remain positive because I feel I am going through this for a reason. I have noticed some good and not so good things. I feel that I had to grow up rather quickly than other teens my age. I had to make decisions on treatment and what I wanted to do. Who gets to decide that at 17?
One thing I noticed is that some people don’t know what to say, so they sort of fade away. I was hurt at the beginning, but then I realized that they weren’t meant to be there in the first place. Good thing though – is that I have met such amazing people in my life, and I would not have met them or known they existed if it wasn’t for this journey. From the child life specialist, whose purpose is to make you happy during troubling times, to the musician that comes to make songs with you, and the amazing doctors and nurses that truly care about your happiness and well-being. I am grateful for all of them.
Since this journey, my college and life goals have changed. I see my path in life is to help others. Now I want to go to school to become a pediatric oncology nurse. I want to be able to help kids going through what I went through. I believe I will be a great nurse because I simply know! I know what treatment feels like, and I can show them what a survivor looks like. I feel that my story will help kids through their treatment and give them hope that cancer does not define them. I will show them to focus on the positive things through their journey and push towards the amazing people they are destined to be!
- Karina Allure (Smith)
Creative Director, Photographer, Makeup Artist
Karina Allure (Smith)
BP Collab Credit
Brenda Torres (Nik of Time Marketing Co.)
Featured Graphic Designer
Nick Santelises (Nik of Time Marketing Co.)
CREATING the COVER
The process to produce this feature included artistic makeup, but also the creative process between two collaborators: Kristina Bozanich & Nik of Time Marketing Co.
In order of appearance: Unedited image, edited image delivered to design, design background application, graphic overlay for final cover.
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