In 2018, Connie was diagnosed with Stage 2 brain cancer and epilepsy. Her medical diagnosis required that she place her lofty academic goals on the shelf and focus on simply getting well physically.
After her first surgery, Connie finally accepted that there was something out of her control, but adapted so she could still achieve. The road to recovery is riddled with medications, MRI scans, and appointments with oncologists, neurosurgeons, and neurologists. Despite the two brain surgeries and numerous weeks of absence from school due to her recovery and doctor appointments, she was able to successfully complete even her most difficult classes through the development of better time management skills.
In the fall of 2019, Connie will begin attending Johns Hopkins University to earn her bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Public Health while minoring in neuroscience. Following this degree, she intends on obtaining a dual PhD and MD degree such that she can both research treatments for epilepsy and neuro-diseases in the lab and also help patients find the best way to treat their illnesses. With seizures affecting 1 out of 10 people in their lifetime as well as 3.4 million people in the U.S. with active epilepsy, there should be someone teaching the general public about both seizure awareness and first aid. Connie aspires to be that person.