Mark Twain once said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
I believe that this portrays what courage truly means. It is a combination of never giving up a struggle and never losing hope in what you are fighting for.
I was born with a heart defect that required me to have open-heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado when I was 6 weeks old. I went on to make a full recovery. I cannot imagine the courage it took my parents to see me through all of those challenges. Over the past year I have been able to appreciate their courage with a new perspective.
Less than a year ago, my family and I were faced with a difficult decision. I had been very “knock-kneed” for as long as I can remember, and I began experiencing daily pain when I was 12 years old. We consulted with Dr. Frank Chang at Children’s Colorado, and after an intensive clinical visit, he gave us two options. The first was to try physical therapy and see if that would realign my joints over time. The other was to have surgery. Plates and screws would be inserted in both knees and ankles to prevent the inside of the bones from growing. Once I had grown enough to correct the alignment, the plates and screws would come out. This option would mean at least two, but perhaps as many as five, surgeries over the next few years.
We had to make the decision immediately because of my age; the surgery would not be effective once my growth plates had fused. It took a lot of courage to make the decision to go into surgery. The plates and screws went in last May, but already they have been removed from three sites, and my knees feel so much better!
Courage is making the difficult, scary, and sometimes painful decision because it is the right one. This is what courage means to me.