Tag Archives: keep swimming

Overcoming Adversity

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I am sharing this for ALL my friends. I am a pretty positive person. I have goals and dreams, yet I have my own invisible medical combats fighting me all along the path to achieve those goals and dreams. This guy is truly an inspiration to me. Maybe he is stubborn like me, but I have always, always continued to believe I can achieve my dreams. I didn’t always believe in myself, but as soon as you reach the first milestone and you look back at what you have accomplished, wow, you know the next milestone is just within reach.

For me, it was attending college for the first time, and second time, then the third. I was an A, B, sometimes C student in high school. I didn’t believe in myself at that time. As soon as I graduated high school, I took Psychology with Dr. Bopp. Which is pretty funny since I am pretty sure in high school we prank phone called his house and sang “Unskinny Bopp” as soon as he answered. (For you young ins, that was before caller id.) But I let my insecurities down and I just enjoyed the class. I did my homework and I got an A. Wow… an A in my first college class. Then, I dropped out in the fall… I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I graduated, I didn’t have a goal or even a dream to follow, so I was meandering about aimlessly. Then, I got married and had two kids that I loved with all my heart. I knew deep down that in order to provide for them, I needed to get my rear end back in college and get a career. I took a leap of faith, as soon as Brian was off of formula I quit my part time job at Von Maur and enrolled full time at RCC for radiology technology which at that time was a co op with Springfield. I completed the classes – full time, while still taking on the responsibilities of being a mommy and all that entailed – through sickness and health. I maintained a 4.0 on a 4.0 scale. In fact, the hardest classes, Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2, I scored more points than possible due to extra credit. Honestly in A&P 1, I missed very few questions, I flipping rocked it – broke the curve. I was a nerd… Sorry if you were one who dropped out, but for me, this was a reward for a job well done. You don’t get an A or a certificate for changing a diaper or mopping the floors. It was a satisfaction of knowing that I could DO IT! Then came the time for clinicals… in Springfield. After determining the hours of day care since both my kiddies were still too young for school, the lack of financial aid, I would be paying $250 a week in daycare without any income to back it up. So, I switched gears. I changed to looking at a bachelor’s in science. Then, I was again thwarted by the 5 math classes RCC required and I lost my focus and obtained a job in a law firm. Something that I never, ever thought I would do, but it was just as a secretary so I could do that. Ha ha. It was a legal assistant. I learned SO much from working there that I then took a correspondence course for a paralegal certificate. It was very interesting to me and I continued that same field until I discovered that I had Multiple Sclerosis. It was at that point, along with turning 30 that I realized – I don’t have any benefits at this law firm. I don’t have any paid leave if something were to happen. I don’t have an education to get me in another position, I am stuck unless I take action. And I DID. I looked into programs and found the PACE program at Millikin, the answer to my needs. One evening a week for almost 2 years and voila, bachelors in management and organizational leadership. I moved to working at a Fortune 100 then, now Fortune 50 company as a contract employee. The same month I graduated with my bachelors and was hired on full time with this company. And I just keep going, and going, and going. Much like this guy… my friends, it is inside of YOU. I could have gotten my diagnosis declared SSI and sunk into despair. Instead, I continued into my dreams and goals and I showed MS I was not backing down. Sure in the beginning it was hard to cope with the diagnosis, but after the first flare went into remission, I just kept thinking that I don’t know when the next will be, or if it will ever be, and I can’t stop my life for what might be. I must live it until I HAVE to stop. It has been almost 10 years since that diagnosis. Look at all the things I would have lost out on if I had just stopped and gave in? I have even connected with other MS patients and encouraged them to keep a positive attitude. They lifted me up by telling me that my story and determination helps them. They are the ones that encouraged me to share my story to help others, so that when they are diagnosed, they know that there is hope for them. That medicines are good, but no matter what you are facing in life, you can be your own worst enemy, your attitude most certainly determines your altitude. You can either settle for what you are given or you can show the world what you deserve. Look at this guy… no arms, no legs… yet he continues to overcome and shares that with people to help inspire them to overcome and achieve their goals. He is leaving a significant impact on every life he has touched… That is what this life is about, helping others, helping to make a change in the world.

This is Nick Vujicic. Take a look at yourself after watching this video. What can you overcome?