Harper Lee once said, “real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Eight months pregnant with a nine year old daughter holding my hand, my husband and I separated. I knew minimum wage was not going to be sufficient for a single mother and two children, so I enrolled in a radiology program at a local college. My son was born just weeks before classes were to begin. Against the odds and everyone's advice, I refused to postpone my entrance.
In my thirteen years as a radiographer, I always knew that I wanted to be a physician assistant. How in the world would a single mother of two children living in a trailer, struggling to keep the power on be able to achieve that? I am a problem-solver. After surviving my radiology degree, I worked a lot, saved some money and bought a house within a few blocks of Lenoir Rhyne University in hopes of someday attending. I drove by that school every day to work thinking, “I am going to go there one day”. I decided to bite off achieving my bachelor’s degree. I often worked two jobs and did everything I could to keep supper cooked and the house cleaned. I cannot tell you have many times I fell asleep trying to read a “night-night” story to my son. Amazingly, I graduated with a Bachelors Science Radiological Sciences (BSRS). Now, I had education debit, a teenage daughter and my son that had started elementary school. My daughter’s high school years almost caused me to go bald headed but we all made it alive. Just recently my retired father has moved into my home. This introduces yet another set of challenges and adjustments but we are a family and better because of it. I love him.
I really never thought I would have made it this far, I just thought I would go for it and see what happened. I made it…here I am, in a program that does not allow it’s participants to work. Why do I set myself up for such punishment you might ask? It is what I have always wanted to do. I just forgot to calculate in some of the details like not being able to work.
So, I have made some lifestyle changes. I do my own nails, wash my own car and I am an extreme couponer! I now have a small garden that my family maintains. I have a deep freezer so that I can take advantage of sales and bulk purchases. I sold my car to be able to make my house payments while I am in school. I just got another second job to cover the cost of books, scrubs, and equipment. Thank heavens it is time for “seasonal help”.
School starts the first of January. I never know what is right around the corner for myself and my family. I am thankful that I have always found away. I am currently working every avenue to get scholarships and grants lined up to help with the inevitable loan amounts.
It would be an honor to take part in the high quality formal education that Lenoir Rhyne offers. I am enthusiastic to assume a new position within the healthcare team and embrace the challenges that come along with being a part of such a noble profession.