This is one of my heroes, her name is Maria. We have been friends since middle school and now we are both at Pitt. Maria was always the mother of our friend (hero) group. She is mature and level-headed and is always more than willing to lend a hand. Maria has also always wanted to give me my epinephrine auto-injector. Every time opportunity arose, where she was with me during an anaphylactic reaction, either a teacher or the nurse took the epinephrine pen from her and did it themselves. So when Maria and I found out we would be going to college together, she knew she would have at least 4 more years to get a shot (no pun intended) at using it herself (even though we were both optimistic it wouldn't be needed at all.)
Sure enough, opportunity arose. On Friday, I started to have a reaction to some soup that must have been cross contaminated with one of my allergens. I was alone at the time the reaction started. The reaction wasn't bad at first (I had vomited after about 10 bites of the soup and had some itchiness of my face and throat). I took some benadryl and called Maria, since I knew she could help. I asked if I could come hang out at her place while the Benadryl kicked in, she said yes, of course. About 10 minutes after arriving at Maria's, my tongue started to swell and so did my lips. Before my throat started to swell, I knew (and my mom who had been texting me the entire time told me) I should use my epinephrine auto-injector. As I pulled it out of my pouch, I looked at Maria and handed it to her. Sure, I could do it myself (I've done it myself many times before) but I knew she really had wanted to do it. Plus, I'm a big advocate of looking on the bright side, so while having a reaction is one of the worst things in the world, the bright side was, Maria could fulfill her dream. Maria did it and didn't even leave a bruise (she claims it it beginner's luck). Then, we headed down the block to the ER to sit in the waiting room for a few hours (If the epinephrine reduces my symptoms and I am not having trouble breathing, I sit in the waiting room instead of checking myself into the ER. If I can't breathe still or the epinephrine doesn't fully reverse the symptoms, we call 911. You should not follow this advice unless you consult a medical professional, I am not a doctor--yet). Maria stayed with me for a little until my other friends got out of class and could meet us at the ER.
Because Maria and I graduated with 72 brothers and sisters (not just classmates). I was worried I would not find as amazing people as I went to high school with at college. I have learned that there are heroes (friends) waiting to be discovered anywhere you go and it is ok to have more than one group of heroes.
Special thanks to Maria, Becka and Valerie as well as all my other friends and family who always work to keep me safe, I love you guys!