Harlie B. Choponis
Hart High School
“Firmness of Purpose”

“Nothing can withstand the power of the human will if it is willing to stake its very
existence to the extent of its purpose.” — Benjamin Disreali

What is my purpose?
Is a question we ask ourselves
It is our mystery in life
To figure out who we are meant to be
Everyone wants success
But how do we get there
Standing on the top of that mountain
Feeling relief, thinking
“I did it”
What does it take
To be that person?

When we picture a determined person
We picture someone strong
Who stares down the face of fear
And pushes obstacles and challenges
Out of their way
Who stands in their place
Letting nothing knock them over
Unwavering as they reach their goals
Ignoring the haters
And welcoming true friends
We see a person who can do anything
And be anything
Because they decided to do so
But do you have to be strong and fearless
To be determined?
July 31st, 2006
The day my brother was born
A frightening but exciting day
For me as a new big sister
I was traveling into uncharted waters
Never before seen
I was eager to see him
Just as any child would be
Curious to know
How much this would change my life
Feeling unsure of the new future
Now knowing that the future
Was one I didn’t even know
Was possible

My brother seemed normal
Until we noticed things
That were unexplainable
He hadn’t developed right
He was too small
5 pounds and 3 ounces
He was so weak
So fragile-looking
Fighting to live
Something was wrong
But what?

It took a long time
For doctors to figure out
Why this was happening
Why he was struggling to survive
As a child, it was hard to comprehend
The gravity of my brother’s fate
That he was the one
Out of 100,000 others
That was born with
XXXXY Syndrome

XXXXY Syndrome is genetic
Where a boy gets 3 extra X chromosomes
Accompanied by intellectual and developmental
His genetic make-up
Made him weak
Made him dainty and delicate
Made it difficult
For him to persevere
And grow up to be healthy and strong
Like any other normal person

He required many surgeries
To fix critical problems
I remember many hospital trips
Spending the nights
Waiting to hear that everything
Was going to be okay
That he was going to be okay
And miraculously,
We were able to bring my brother home
Every time

Though he still faced obstacles
I remember feeding him through a tube
That attached to his stomach
Because he couldn’t eat
Like the rest of us
I remember him coughing through the night
Because of aspirating so often
My parents fearing to fall asleep
Because they were unsure if he could breathe
There was even a period of time
When it was unclear what he was saying
Because we couldn’t understand him

Despite the challenges,
My brother eventually got better
He’s 13 years old now
He’s healthy and is the most outgoing person
I know He’s funny and kind and
Has a huge heart
He’s goofy and mischievous
Just as a brother should be
And finds ways to brighten up
Everyone else’s day
He loves cars and trucks
And working with my dad in the garage
He loves eating macaroni and cheese
With hotdogs
He loves telling grand stories
That he generates
From little moments of his day

My brother, Luke, is a very special person
But he wasn’t strong or fearless
His determination came from
Somewhere else
It was his will to live
To serve his purpose
That made him determined
His purpose
To be my brother
And my friend

Being determined doesn’t mean being
Strong or fearless
Being determined means
Having a purpose
That mountain is waiting for us
To climb to the top
What is my purpose?
Is a question we must ask ourselves
To ensure success
Be determined to
Find that purpose

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