2023 Awardee – Adelaide Marker – HWRA – Weber HS – Donated by Kerry & Katrina Gibson

Mar 22, 2023

Falling into Resilience

My name is Adelaide Marker and I am a senior at Weber high school. My high school life has not gone as I have expected, but I am so grateful for what I have learned and for who I am because of my life road blockers.

In 2019, my dad was hit by a truck in a car accident. That truck not only totaled our van, it also threw our life off kilter. My dad experienced a traumatic brain injury which changed him into a different man. Our family soon could not live peacefully because of the change in him. After a year of turmoil in our home, my dad left to live with my grandma. Our home is a happier place, sufficient with the occasional visits from him, but the scars and trauma are here to stay. Along with the scars has come a greater protection of my family and stronger relationships with the ones that have stayed.

The next hiccup in my life was in the summer of 2021. While at a Youth Leadership Conference I was dropped 30 feet to the ground at a rock climbing course. Instead of what I had planned for my summer and school year, I spent my days recovering from back injuries and a major concussion. I came to realize that you never truly know how much you value something until it’s taken away. I was unable to train for my Cross Country season, which resulted in an unexpected season; I was unable to read books and play instruments or hike, like I had been enjoying. I was immensely grateful that I was still alive (and not paralyzed) and that those I love were not in my situation.
The damage of that injury is still affecting me today. It has affected my mental and physical capacity and impeded my desired goals. Despite the array of losses from it, I have gained new perspectives. I have seen that you never know what part of your life will disappear tomorrow; don’t let tomorrow make you grateful for what you had, cherish what you have today.

This past September another road blocker crossed my path. Because of a severe migraine, I went to the ER and discovered that I have a tumor on my spine. From that point on my mom and I have been on a journey from doctor to doctor to discover what to do about the tumor and my daily pains. After being handed over to Primary Children’s hospital, having a biopsy done, and the biopsy being transferred to Harvard and New York, my tumor has been diagnosed as a ganglioneuroma. We are now trying to figure out what to do next. I am so grateful for the support that my mom has offered in every way.

My life will most likely never be the same because it already hasn’t. The daily back, neck, stomach, head, and nerve pains have affected my high school goals. But new desires have been ignited in my heart. I hope to one day overcome the physical challenges of this tumor and become a Pediatric Neuroscientist to help children that experience spinal and neuro illness and diseases .
From a season of my life that has been dealt with constant blows, I have learned new lessons and skills that I don’t think I would have learned any other way. I hope that those who are going through challenges will see the blessings and lessons in them, and that they will learn from my experiences.

Overall I have learned that you never know what is coming tomorrow. We don’t know if you will wake up without your family, friends, physical capacity, material belongings, ect. What you can control is how you live today, so live today and enjoy it. Be grateful for what you still have after your challenges and for what you have gained from them.

My motto is when life knocks you down, get back up and realize that you are becoming stronger each time you fall. I am amazed at what a human soul can handle and I am more amazed at those people who use their challenges to become better and stronger. Never forget that you are stronger than anything life throws your way and that the best people are sometimes dealt the hardest things.

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