Last year, Griswold Home Care announced the creation of our scholarship contest to award exceptional individuals a $1,000 scholarship to help them further their education. We asked participants to offer their personal insights into the greatest rewards and challenges of providing care, as well as to share how their higher education goals would help them to impact the lives of others.
Griswold Home Care is pleased to announce Hayden Sparks as the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship. Hayden is an exceptional and inspirational young man who is a recent graduate from Broken Arrow, OK. He plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall. Hayden intends to pursue a career path as a pediatric oncologist — an area of expertise that hits close to home for him.
Hayden is currently battling T-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and credits the support of his family, his school and basketball team and his best friend Justin in helping him to stay positive. He also pointed to his own doctors and nurses and their constant encouragement throughout his fight.
“As hard as this is on me, it is just as hard on them. I never feel like I am fighting alone. My fight is truly their fight,” said Hayden. “Technically I have not completely overcame this obstacle, but I have come a long way and made a lot of progress. Attitude is one of the most important factors in accomplishing a task. This will be my greatest accomplishment and is more than just a goal to me, but a checkpoint in my life. This achievement will give me a different outlook on the world, and will give me faith that I can accomplish anything I am faced with in my life.”
Hayden acknowledged that one of the greatest challenges of providing support and care for someone is “trying to put yourself in their shoes so you are able to talk them through their situation and give them advice even if you have not experienced what they are experiencing.”
When asked about his career goals and how achieving a higher education will help him to become a better caregiver, Hayden offered an optimistic and empathetic view of the situation. “The hardest part for a pediatric oncologist is that they typically have not been through what their patients have been through. However, since I have cancer and will have beat it at that point in my life, I will be able to relate to the patients and understand most of what they are going through. I also will have personal experience of some of the medicines that cause certain side effects. I will be blessed with the opportunity to make my young patients smile and laugh to keep their minds off of some of the things going on in their lives.”
Griswold Home Care would like to congratulate Hayden on his recent graduation and acceptance to the University of Oklahoma. We’re very happy to award him this scholarship and are cheering him on in his continued fight against cancer and in his future career goals.
“For every patient I get to treat that beats cancer, the patient and their family’s lives will be forever impacted,” said Hayden. “I will not only have the opportunity to teach, but the opportunity to provide the diagnosed child with a treatment and the child’s family with knowledge and support.”