The reason this question was so impactful to me is because, while in college, I had a professor tell me that I was probably “not cut out for grad school”. She went on to explain the reasoning was that I was “people smart” not “book smart”. The truth is I already knew that. It was not a news flash to me… so if she thought she was helping me out she was too late on that little piece of information. I know many of my strengths include reading people, communicating with people, and working with people. School has never come easy to me, but the difference is that I am a hard worker when it comes to my academics. Being successful takes determination, dedication, and hard work. I was taught that a very long time ago from my supportive parents.
Jump ahead to Wednesday April 16th, where I was the ending keynote speaker at my office’s Spring Symposium. This was our first symposium and I was greatly honored to have been asked to speak. I work with some pretty amazing and knowledgeable people. I have learned so much from my co-workers and admire many of them.
One of my co-workers came to my house bright and early (5:30 am) in a van where my mother and co-worker lifted my wheelchair in the backseat and then we were off for the next two hours on the road to our symposium. Then after getting to town two other co-workers without hesitation came out and lifted my wheelchair from the van. We are very good at team work I would say! My speech went well and as a whole our Spring Symposium was a success. As we all head back to Sioux Falls my wheelchair was lifted back into the van by the same two people and we all left for home. I was dropped off at home by my co-worker and another co-worker followed us so they could lift my wheelchair down into my garage. It is people like this who make me feel great to call them co-workers. I know I am surrounded by thoughtful and top notch people who without a thought would do this for a fellow co-worker.
The following day, Thursday April 17th, I was asked by someone in my building if I would speak at an orientation for medical students. The ironic thing is that ever since I came back from the Lysosomal Network Disease Symposium I have been thinking a lot about wanting to do more with upcoming doctors or researchers. And, just a week prior I contacted someone else in our building to see if I could ever be of assistance with speaking to medical students regarding my condition/disability/patient advocacy. This is just proof that if you throw something out into the universe it will circle back to you in one way or another.
In closing, I realize I am approaching 30 this year and still can’t believe all the amazing opportunities and people that God has given and brought into my life. I still have many more dreams and goals in my life -- some I may accomplish and some I may not -- but I will never stop dreaming and striving for success!