For Jamie Ortega, 2020 introduced some harsh challenges effectively earlier than COVID-19 modified our world. Identified with lupus when she was eight years previous, the Rancho Cucamonga Excessive Faculty pupil started experiencing signs she’d by no means had earlier than – to not this diploma, anyway.
It was January – the beginning of the second semester of her junior yr. Between excruciating complications, lingering shoulder ache, rashes and fatigue, Jamie spent weeks out and in of the hospital.
“I used to be so drained, and there was a whole lot of confusion. I’d cry as a result of I’d simply hold going to the ER,” she says. “My total February and March was needles, surgical procedure and a whole lot of sleep.”
Then it hit.
“I had a roommate within the hospital who was there even longer than I used to be. Each my mother and father had been capable of be with me. We might afford my remedy. All of it made me notice how fortunate I used to be for not having it worse.”
The expertise additionally reaffirmed Jamie’s need to assist others – one thing she has carried into her senior yr at RCHS as a pioneering member of the Cougar Local weather Committee. C3, because it’s identified, offers a discussion board for college students to talk out on varied points, comparable to fairness, entry and distance studying, whereas offering peer help throughout these unprecedented occasions.
For Jamie, it is a case of paying it ahead for the help she has acquired – from her mother and father and household, her docs and nurses, and her academics and faculty workers.
“I need different individuals to really feel comforted,” she says.
Jamie’s college counselor, Brigitte Hughes, says it goes past that.
“The rationale Jamie has carried out so effectively is that she’s pushed. She would not use her illness as an excuse,” Hughes says.
Certainly, Jamie returned from her prolonged hospital keep to earn straight-A’s for the semester. She credit her academics – and a few classes she realized throughout her remedy.
“I grew up,” she says. “My Dad says nothing in life is straightforward. You must work laborious.”
Laborious work is unquestionably in Jamie’s future as she seems to be to a profession in healthcare (once more paying it ahead) – presumably as a pediatric rheumatologist. She is making use of to numerous College of California colleges, the Claremont Schools and presumably the College of Southern California.
“Pediatrics is what I need to give attention to. I acquired lupus once I was younger, and as a child, you do not know the right way to clarify it. I would by no means heard of it earlier than I used to be identified, however now I’ve skilled it and I do know what it is like,” she says.
That have has been each bodily and emotional.
“It impacts your joints, you are actually drained and generally you are mentally not there. In elementary by way of center college, it did not actually hassle me. However once I began going to highschool, I had a whole lot of insecurity.”
You’d by no means know that, talking with Jamie right now.
“I realized you may’t actually decide any individual on one thing they can not management.”