Queens, NY
Rose Up

A Living Rose was inspired by My own Rose Story. From the young age of 3 years old, I’ve encountered many surgeries. At the time, they were superficial and we didn’t think it was more than that. I basically had some external birthmarks to remove from my head and neck. Aside from a few surgeries in between, fast forward to the age of 16. When I was entering high school, I wanted a small mark on the corner of my right eye removed. Vanity. My parents said Ok and took me to the doctor. The doctor requested an MRI to make sure that growth wasn’t attached to anything deeper. Well that MRI is the reason I’m here to write this story today because it found something we weren’t looking for. That MRI revealed tumors compressing my spinal cord by 80%. Picture a slushy straw reducing to a red coffee stirrer. I had no symptoms. Ironically I was a gymnast at the time, standing on my head and all. As a 16 year old, I actually can’t remember exactly how I processed all of this. August 17th, 2009 was my first cervical spine laminectomy and then one in 2012, 2014, and 2017. I refused to let it change the course I wanted to take. The doctors feel it is just a spontaneous thing that happened to me, so the degree is much minor than what it could have been and I am hopeful this is just a season in my life. To be honest, learning this part of it, may have been more challenging for me than the physical part. But I have made peace with the randomness of it, and I am grateful to say it has shaped me into a person that I am. I want to inspire others who can relate to any degree. To show them, that the flower that blooms through adversity is the most beautiful of all. My Rose gives me the strength and the reminder that it’s not about what life gives you, it’s how you respond to life. And I responded with strength, resilience, and compassion. My Rose is reminds me to stay strong and that this too shall pass. I love you all and can’t wait to see how your Roses bloom and blossom all over the world! Love, Amanda Rose