In each issue of HemAware, we “Take 5” with people in the bleeding disorders community and spotlight their efforts with just five questions. This month, HemAware met Andrea Canale, a 16-year-old with von Willebrand disease who has published essays in three editions of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
2010 Update on Andrea Canale:
Andrea Canale graduated in June 2010 from Jamesville-DeWitt High School in DeWitt, New York. She will be attending Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, this fall, where she will study to become a physical therapist. She has shadowed physical therapists and volunteered at a nursing home’s physical therapy department, which sparked her interest in the field even more. To help with college, she received three scholarships for students with bleeding disorders: Salvatore E. Quinci Foundation Scholarship, NuFACTOR’s Eric Dostie Memorial Scholarship and the Beth Carew Memorial Scholarship.
She has continued with her writing and has had three pieces published in the Young Salvationist and Insight magazines, which are Biblically based inspirational publications. She has also written essays for the “Voices” page of her local newspaper, The Post-Standard. For the past three years, Canale has been the drummer in an all-girl band, “Crimson Action,” playing local events and battle of the bands.
In the essay that appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Getting In…to College, you wrote about your desire to become a physical therapist. Why do you want to become a PT?
The answer is twofold. When I was a baby, I had muscular weaknesses caused from being in an orphanage the first year of my life. Once I was adopted, I received physical therapy for four consecutive years. It was such a positive experience that I had to consider it as a career option. As a teen I was diagnosed with von Willebrand disease, which causes joint bleeds. Once I learned that physical therapy could alleviate the discomfort and prevent long-term complications, I knew it was the job for me. I spent last summer volunteering in physical therapy departments, which reinforced my calling.
How did you get interested in writing?
My primary school assignments always included journal writing. I enjoyed these so much that I continued writing long after the assignments were due. In high school I have been taking journalism classes since my freshman year, and I enjoy them immensely. I am also an editor and contributing writer in my school newspaper. My mom always encouraged me to send my school articles to the Syracuse paper, and my first submission was accepted. Now I am an active writer for The Post-Standard’s “Voices” page.
How did you get published in Chicken Soup for the Soul?
In browsing magazine Web sites, I found the Chicken Soup for the Soul Web site. With Chicken Soup, I didn’t need to have been published previously. All it took was the click of a button. They got back to me within a month saying, “Congratulations, your stories are being considered.” Another month later, I received a letter from Chicken Soup stating that my stories had made the final cut. After that I was sent the final edited copies, and I proofread them.
Chicken Soup required me to sign a contract for each story. It was exciting signing my first contract at the age of 15. Even more thrilling was holding my book and seeing my name in print.
Would you like to continue writing in the future?
Yes! As a matter of fact, I have been submitting stories to magazines, much like what a freelance writer would do. Writing will always be a part of me. I hope to build a career around physical therapy, though.
Do you have any advice for people who want to write?
Make sure to write every day. If you have “writer’s block,” go for a walk or take a break and come back to it later. Writing is a great way to be heard without having to make a sound. Last, never give up. If you do experience rejection, it will only make you stronger.