|Nazanin Nayeri along side Dr. Eliber and Dr. Kalbasi|
My name is Nazanin Nayeri and I am 19 years old. At the beginning of 2019, I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma cancer as a senior at El Camino Real Charter High School. After several consultations with the Sarcoma Multidisciplinary team, I started 25 days of radiation treatment. During these 25 days, I gained a valuable perspective on life. I realized that my feelings through these testing times must have been analogous to those of patients undergoing similar treatments.
I had felt vulnerable, alienated, and powerless lying on that radiation table, with a yearning for my life to go back to normal. I kept grappling with this very abstract question of why this was happening to me. One night during treatment, it struck me that these feelings must be common for many pediatric and young-adult patients. That same night, I constructed a letter to Volunteer Services at UCLA to form a Youth Ambassador Program.
As a cancer survivor, I feel it is my duty and obligation to share the sense of hope I was given by my care team as a cancer patient to others undergoing similar situations. Developing this program for high schoolers to volunteer and fundraise to contribute to Volunteer Services and Childlife Program at UCLA for pediatric patients has given my cancer journey a sense of purpose and meaning.
The Sarcoma Multidisciplinary team, Dr.Eliber, Dr. Kalbasi, Simms/Mann, and Radiation Oncology Department went above and beyond their prescribed duties for me to reach a healthy and joyful outcome as a patient. My story speaks volumes to the superior care provided to every patient who walks through the doors at UCLA. I will always be grateful to my team for seeing me as an individual since day one. I truly admire every member and believe that each and every single one of them has inspired me to flourish into the individual I am today.