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Bryan Saunders' Essay

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Bryan, age 14, entered this essay into a competition and was a finalist in the State of Michigan....he shared this essay at the memorial service on the one year anniversary of Renee's death....8.5.07

My Personal Hero

My personal hero didn’t win any awards. She didn’t win any money. She would always help anybody; she is Renee Beth Pagel. Renee was special to me because she was a good friend of my family. She is special to me because she helped shape my life.

She always helped other people without being asked, even if it took a lot of time or money. Renee graduated from Michigan State University as a nurse practitioner because she liked to assist people personally. She donated twenty percent of her income to charities like Mel Trotter, churches, and the Kidney Foundation. She also aided at charities like migrant camps. During the winter at the migrant camp, she gave the kids toys and dressed up like Santa Claus. One year a little boy asked, “Santa Claus, why does your voice sound like a girl’s voice?” She laughed when she heard that question. When Renee had spare time she worked at the migrant camp to make the children happy. One of the many reasons she helped other children was because she prayed to the Lord many times for children of her own. Renee has three children: Sarah, who is seven; Joel, who is seven, (they are twins); and finally Johannah, who is four years old.

One way she helped shape my life was by teaching me to trust in God and myself, and by inspiring me to help others. Another way she inspired me was her trips to Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and places in the United States on medical missions. On these medical missions she helped people with diseases, viruses, injuries, and medical problems. She went to all these countries because her hero is Mother Teresa. She admired Mother Teresa because she always helped the poor and the homeless and she gave money charities just like her. Renee helped others because she thought that God put her on this Earth to help others and to make this world a better place to live.

A funny story happened when I was a baby. I had a bad rash, so I went to my doctor and Renee was in the room. Later my doctor said that I had scabies. So the doctor gave us some medicine and he said “Your whole family has to take this medicine.” My mom was devastated that I had scabies, so Renee said “Everybody gets it once in a while.” So my mom felt better and we took the medicine, but the rash didn’t go away. Then we went to a different doctor and he said “That’s not scabies!” My mom was relieved that it wasn’t scabies. So my mom asked Renee, “How come you said everybody gets scabies?” and she replied, “I was just trying to make you feel better and not ashamed.”

Renee was also a good influence on me because she did the bravest thing and most helpful thing. One of her student’s fathers needed a kidney replacement, so Renee donated her kidney. We all were afraid she would die during surgery; but she didn’t die and we were all relieved. About a week after her surgery when she was recovering, on August 5, 2006, someone broke into her house and killed Renee. It was a tragedy because the world lost a peacemaker who made this world a better place.

So I dedicate this essay in loving memory to Renee Beth Pagel. She was loving, thankful, caring, joyful, and many more things than I can say. So I say, “Renee, we all care about you and miss you”.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer...
Romans 12:12

IP