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A hand of aces

If you are an avid TNH reader, which we hope you are, you may have noticed we have a tradition of doing “on the spot” interviews with students. Over the years, on the spot has traditionally been one of our editors going out into the MUB on production night and asking 5-6 students one question.
This year, however, we have switched it up a little and have started to get more in-depth stories about remarkable students, soon to add some faculty and staff. This week we were on the spot with UNH sophomore, Dana Valletti. If you haven’t read her story yet, please pause here and go read it, it’s on page one.
As you just read, Dana was diagnosed with lupus, a currently incurable inflammatory disease in which the immune system attacks its own healthy tissues.  In short, this means that even the common cold can be deadly to an individual with lupus. When Dana was diagnosed in eighth grade, she had to stop doing some of her favorite activities, hockey and playing with her band, as she experienced chronic fatigue, one of the many symptoms of lupus. Although she was able to play again in high school for a bit once she got used to handling the disease, Dana never knows when disaster might strike. As mentioned before, just a common cold can be life threatening for her.
The thing is, Dana doesn’t let lupus define who she is. Dana doesn’t sit at home and sulk, wondering, “why me?” What is so inspiring about her story and what we, The New Hampshire editorial staff, believe everyone should take away from her story is that sometimes, life is unfair. It can beat you down and deal you a bad hand, but life circumstances aren’t life sentences.
When Dana realized that lupus was a widespread disease with lagging awareness, she did something about it. She started to speak out about lupus, became an intern for the Lupus Foundation of New England and even chose the academic path of majoring in communications and minoring in biomedical science to deepen her ability to fight against lupus as a hopeful future career. Dana also plays club hockey and is a member of three UNH clubs. Dana took a look at her cards and played at her own free will.
Almost everyone has something in their life that brings them down at one point or another. It is all up to the individuals to ask themselves, “What is possible? What is my next step?” As soon as you open up to your possibilities instead of focusing on negativities, a world of opportunity is at your door.
At the end of the day, the cards you are dealt don’t matter, it’s how you play your game.

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