Cancer Unwrapped Winning Essays

Browse our previous Cancer Unwrapped writing contest winners

 

2021 Winning Essays

View the 2021 editionA collection of heartfelt stories written by teens facing cancer.

Flip through the book (right) to read this year’s essays, or browse the database below to read all past winning essays.

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Without Him

Without Him At first she is too little to understand   She asks for lemons  Clouds  And dolls   Staying overnight  In the place where hearts are broken  Families are crushed  And lives are taken  Is like a sleepover for her  All her relatives play with her to distract...

Shame and Vulnerability

Shame and Vulnerability An anguished moan filled the air like a swarm of locusts as the elevator door opened. It was a scream I’ll never forget, a cry that will forever be a part of me. The harrowing sobbing was coming from a stranger in the lobby of the hospital my...

A Six Letter Word

A Six Letter Word She lives in my phone. I scroll through pictures of her bald head and blinding smile, a mask often, she didn’t want anyone to know otherwise. She lives in my body, the things she endured took her life away, they torment me today. She lives in my...

Cancer Girl

Cancer Girl It’s dark. I should attempt to snag a few hours of sleep from the quickly dying night. Instead, I read the stars out of the window, point out Orion, Cassiopeia, and the Pleiades to myself. The stars remind me of my dad. We used to go camping as a family...

How Long Does A Memory Last?

How Long Does A Memory Last? I was four years old when my father died from colon cancer. That is a difficult age to experience such a life changing event as I can barely remember any of it happening. I often ponder if the things I remember are even my memories at all...

My Life, My Narrative, My Future

My Life, My Narrative, My Future The problem with trying to tell your own story is that you know it too well. I could try to explain to you every event that has taken place over the past few years of my life, but it would take, well, a few years, not to mention that...

Live For Them

Live For Them Life is so precious. It shows us the highs and the lows. It gives us love and light, grief and darkness. In the end, life stops when death comes, so we have no say. We can all strive to be fit and healthy, begging years to not take us, but they do. Life...

The Weight of a Tear

The Weight of a Tear My mom was given a three percent survival rate. She was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer that had metastasized into her brain. The hundred thousand dollar equipment tried to calculate how many lesions she had in her brain but came up short...

The Beginning

The Beginning Camera zooms in on a needle/iv and pans out to a busy hospital room. Our heroine lays in a hospital gown surrounded by doctors, nurses, and machines – unfazed by all of the activity. Have you ever wondered if life is real? For a while, my life has seemed...