Woodlands Lone Star Scholarship Speech

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a speech I was asked to write and deliver for my school's scholarship foundation in 2019. Every year, a golf tournament is held to raise money for scholarships for students across our campuses. I received a scholarship and was grateful to accept an invitation to speak about it at the event. Thank you to my sponsors and supporters.

 

Woodlands Country Club Scholarship Speech

Hello everybody, my name is Glinda Bustamante. I am a first-year nursing student at Lone Star college on the Montgomery campus. I want to start off by saying that public speaking is not my strong suit. I enrolled in a public speaking course, but when I was accepted into the ADN program this year, I decided to save that class for another semester. You will have to bear with me. In 2019, I was the recipient of scholarship awards from the Lone Star College Foundation. I would like to take this time to sincerely thank everyone along the way, and there were many, who had a hand in helping to bestow awards to students like me. Who am I? Who are the people scholarships are going to? I can only speak for myself, yet I know that I am not unique.

I am a wife and mother of 3. My nursing journey began in 2016, when my youngest child was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, or CIDP for short. He was 4 years old. I was not a nursing student then, I was a stay at home mother and worked from home. At the time, I had never heard of CIDP. I could not even pronounce the disease that my son had been given, much less understand what it was doing to his body. I could only see the symptoms he experienced, which caused severe weakness and made him unable to walk. We were admitted to Texas Children’s Hospital in downtown Houston for 5 weeks altogether. It was a terrifying period of our family’s life. My husband and I cried, every single day.

CIDP is exceedingly rare in adults, even rarer for children. The doctors told us that autoimmune diseases like CIDP operate through a hypersensitivity reaction to one’s own immune system. My son’s immune cells were attacking themselves, causing weakness, an inability to walk and use his limbs, and eventually paralysis. I didn’t need to know how to pronounce the name of what was destroying the hope I had for my son’s future. I could call it anything I wanted, it wasn’t going away any time soon.

For 18 months our son had to have long and painful infusions of what’s called ‘intravenous immunoglobulin’ or ‘IVIG’ for short. High dose IVIG is a powerful treatment that when administered, would allow him to use his limbs and even walk better, but the effects were temporary. He was chained to the IV regularly and we had to stay close by the hospital in order for him to get the infusions and be able to do the things he once did naturally and effortlessly. It was a lonely time. It was a season of devastation.

As anyone who has walked through tragedy can attest, throughout your journey, you find out who you genuinely are. You reevaluate what is important. You make tough decisions. And you pray. “There are no atheists in foxholes” they say, and I agree wholeheartedly. Along with the pediatric neurologists, the nurses who cared for our son were some of the most compassionate, selfless, hard-working people we encountered. They worked tirelessly to help make our stays productive, to help explain things we had never heard of, and to comfort us when we needed it most. These selfless acts helped inspire me to go to nursing school and to become an advocate for patients and their families.

I enrolled in Lone Star and began classes the same year my son was diagnosed. As you can imagine, we were financially unable to afford tuition, books, scrubs, stethoscopes, and lab supplies, as well as all the things our family needed on a regular basis to break even. This is where the miracle of generous donors in our community stepped in and benevolently helped my family by making sacrifices of time and resources to assist people like me to complete their degree and begin strengthening the communities where we are employed. My family and I have not taken these endowments lightly. I have earned a 4.0 GPA and have maintained it for the entirety of my enrollment in Lone Star. I work hard to achieve the highest grades I possibly can and to walk worthy of the awards I have been granted. I have also made a vow to help others for the rest of my life, and to give my all to the community when I graduate until I have fulfilled my life’s calling.

During the course of my pursuit of my nursing degree, my son started to show improvements in mobility and began to have fewer and fewer infusions. The doctors eventually discontinued his IVIG treatments because his immune system spontaneously regenerated itself. We are calling this like we see it: a miracle. Although the overwhelming majority of brave people diagnosed with CIDP do not have the same results, we are beyond grateful for the life we have now and for the progress our son has made. He is running, jumping, doing karate, he has almost completely forgotten about the IVIG treatments and not being able to walk.

But we can never forget. The doctors, nurses, the charitable donors in our community colleges. We will never forget you, for being there for our family and carrying us through our darkest days. People helping people is what makes our society strong, flourishing, and compassionate to our brothers and sisters. People like you make a difference in the lives of countless families of students struggling to afford education. My family and I are eternally grateful. God bless you.

 

Glinda Bustamante


Submitted: January 30, 2021

© Copyright 2021 glindagail77. All rights reserved.

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Comments

B Douglas Slack

What an amazing and heartfelt testament, Glinda. It takes a special kind of person, and people, to go through something like that and still maintain academic excellence. I salute you.

Bill

Sat, January 30th, 2021 3:03pm

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I am going to just burst the bubble now and say that this was written in my first semester of the program before the course load hit me like a freight train lol. I'm in last semester now and I've edged out a 3.56 at this point, but the fact remains that I have done my best and I am satisfied with where I am. On another note, our beloved cat Clifford is missing and we're putting the word out in Conroe, Tx. We're pretty broken up about it because we've had him for 4 years and he's a member of our family. He is irreplaceable so we're doing all we can to find him. Any praying men and women out there, please send one up for our family and our missing cat. This is (gratefully) the first time in my life that I've lost a pet and it really does take a piece of your heart out. Whether or not we are successful in finding him, my eyes have been opened to the heartache people go through when their pet goes missing. I vow to be more compassionate when others lose their pets and help out any way I can. I will update if we find him

Sat, January 30th, 2021 1:35pm

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