WHO I AM: Natalie
Before I first met Julia, Billy, her brother and my now-husband, mentioned that I would be a good role model for her as she entered into high school and began the college application process. I of course agreed without question.
I was ready to share my every trick in the book for memorizing AP History key concepts, framing the Common Application essay, and establishing a list of “reach” and “safety” schools. But as I got to know Julia, it soon became clear that she had far more to teach me. Beyond getting me hooked on all of the shows and games I watch and play to this day, she taught me what it truly means to fight.
What is fighting you might ask? It means not only memorizing facts, but conceiving policy solutions to the biggest of grievances in US history, even when her lungs were a grievance to her. It means not just writing essays, but directing films with sometimes the goofiest of characters and a hard-hitting message that could speak to anyone, even when her each breath was a hit. And it means filling out college applications and conceiving a future where she was going to make change to better the lives of others, even when her own spirits suffered with another hospital trip around the corner.
Despite spending a good chunk of her high school years in the hospital bed when her peers were having sleepovers, hanging out at the mall, going on dates, and playing sports, Julia has fought to improve the lives of others, whether it be staying up late nights to make both touching and “gag” gifts for everyone to enjoy on Christmas morning, video tutoring students from war-torn parts of the world, or running her school’s blood drive so that others can have the means to survive. She has fought to make an impact for not only those around her, but for the world at large. No wonder Harvard accepted her!
It was no decision at all to ask Julia to be my maid of honor at our wedding. I was absolutely honored to have the girl who day in and day out teaches me to fight, to improve the world, and to do it with witty jokes, some messy paint, funny videos, spontaneous startup pitches, trips to explore the lighthouses of Cape Cod, and the love of family and friends along the way. Julia is an inspiration for all those around her.
This lung transplant will empower her to continue to make the world a better place and to have a chance to do this without suffering each breath. We would be grateful for your support in making this happen.