Cancer Unwrapped Winning Essays

2022 Winning Essays

View the 2022 edition:

A collection of heartfelt stories written by teens facing cancer

Browse the database below to read all past winning essays or click on the image to the right.

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Why I Fight

Why I Fight My memories of my dad are like snapshots from a polaroid laid out on the table. Some of the images are crisp and clear; so tangible that I can almost feel the moment they capture, and some are slightly blurry, making them feel just a bit out of reach. My...

The Ending

The Ending A young girl sits cross-legged in the corner of the couch, shrinking into herself as if trying to disappear completely. She studies the loopy pattern of the carpet, torn between keeping her heart intact or looking at her father for what may be the last...

Pairs of Two

Pairs of Two Two has always been my favorite number. It’s even, prime, and wonderfully simple. Even so, my favorite thing about the number is that it’s perfectly predictable. So many things come in pairs of twos; I have two eyes, two ears, two hands and feet. I have...

One in a Million

One in a Million As we go through life we get labeled by everyone we meet, it’s done out of love, hate, or ignorance. Even nature sometimes labels us abnormal. We can choose to play into those labels or we can prove them wrong. I choose to label myself.  On August 15,...

My Mother’s Eyes

My Mother's Eyes As we go through life we get labeled by everyone we meet, it’s done out of love, hate, or ignorance. Even nature sometimes labels us abnormal. We can choose to play into those labels or we can prove them wrong. I choose to label myself.  On August 15,...

Labels

Labels As we go through life we get labeled by everyone we meet, it’s done out of love, hate, or ignorance. Even nature sometimes labels us abnormal. We can choose to play into those labels or we can prove them wrong. I choose to label myself.  On August 15, 2015 the...

Internal Monologue of Writing a Eulogy

Internal Monologue of Writing a Eulogy A dusty old photo album holds the picture of me wearing a backpack and a nervous smile standing under the big maple tree in our front yard, on my first day of kindergarten. A sense of dread fills my stomach every time I look at...

Every day After

Every day After A dusty old photo album holds the picture of me wearing a backpack and a nervous smile standing under the big maple tree in our front yard, on my first day of kindergarten. A sense of dread fills my stomach every time I look at that picture, just as it...

Enough is Enough

Enough is Enough 450. 1825. 5598. These numbers probably don’t mean much to you. They’re just random digits on a page with no connection to each other, or anything else for that matter. Harmless numbers on a blank piece of paper. Four of them. Just sitting there. Your...