Teaching the value of life

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Beyoncé Howell may only still be a teenager, but she’s a living testament to all of us about how to view life.

The recent Valley High School graduate was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer as an infant, and doctors in Birmingham told her mother that she would only have 24 more hours to live. Not only did she survive those 24 hours, but she survived days, months and years.

At 5, she no longer had to receive treatments, and as of today she’s a high school graduate with a bright future ahead of her. 

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Howell and her mother had to take regular trips to Birmingham for check-ups and radiation. When she was old enough to understand the severity of what she was diagnosed with, Howell just wanted to live the life of a normal kid.

Today, like most teenagers, she enjoys modern day and old-school hip-hop and R&B, eating and sleeping. She’s looking forward to working toward her career goal of becoming a nurse. She hopes to ultimately work in a children’s hospital. Howell still lives with an inactive tumor and has went through consistent check-ups throughout her life.

There are many lessons to be learned from her, highlighted by not making excuses in life. It puts life in perspective to consider Howell’s story.

High school can be tough for anyone, and graduating is a huge milestone. But it really puts life in perspective to consider Howell’s journey, one that started with a life-threatening diagnosis. We’re sure her mother dreamed of being able to watch her walk across a graduation stage, but with a 24-hour diagnosis, that probably felt impossible.

However, the impossible became possible this past week.

It sounds corny and cliche, but value every moment you’re given in life, and live every day like it’s your last.