September 8, 2009
Eric Babbitt, a senior business economics major from Orange County, Calif., and a
standout with The College of Wooster's swim team, shares his story as a
two-time survivor of cancer in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraordinary Teens, published just last month.
Babbitt's moving first-person essay tells of the excruciating pain that followed his
second surgery, but the real story is his life-changing transformation, which
turned a distracted, unappreciative, unmotivated teenager into an enthusiastic,
grateful, high-achieving young adult.
"My illness changed my perspective on life," he says in the essay. "Now I
ask myself, 'If today were my last day on earth, would I be satisfied with my
life? Am I living life in a positive and fulfilling way? If I died today, would
I be proud of what I left behind?' I ask these questions daily and try to live
every moment to the fullest."
Babbitt says that his experience has helped him to reach out to others and remind them
that everyone faces challenges but that there is always a positive side if one
is willing to look for it.
"After my experience with cancer, I realized that I needed to make adjustments to my
life and learn to live with gratitude," he says in the concluding
paragraph. "But it shouldn't take a life-altering event to appreciate our
assets and take advantage of the opportunities we are presented with each day.
Life is not a privilege; it's a gift."
Babbitt shares the spotlight with more than 50 other teen (or former teen) authors in
the book, including Donald Trump, Jr., and Kari Byron, one of the stars of the
Discovery Channel's "MythBusters."
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