Morgan Mondello '18

During my freshmen year of college, I believe that I’m starting to find my voice. Let me tell you a little bit about my childhood.  

When I was little I had many health issues. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy when I was six months old and by the age of 2 I had to undergo brain surgery. At first I was fine after the brain surgery and the seizures were gone. Then by the age of four my seizures came back the doctors had to go back in and remove the rest of the tissue, which was a quarter of my left side of my brain. This surgery was more intense because I had a stroke during this surgery. My stroke left me paralyzed on my left side. I also had a quarter of my left side of my brain removed. The doctors told my parents that their would be a very small percentage that I would be able to do normal things again on my own, like eat walk or function on my own and that I wouldn’t ever be able to go to college.

Last year when I got that letter from the college of Charleston that I’ve been accepted into the REACH Program I was so excited. My mom took a picture of my acceptance letter and sent it to my doctors who did my surgeries. The REACH program has already helped greatly. Everybody that I met whether it was the REACH Staff or my friends they are all so welcoming and accepting. That’s one thing that I appreciate greatly. 

One activity that I’ve been involved in through out my life is my youth group. Both my family and have both needed to put our trust and faith in God because of everything that I’ve been through. There have many times where I just wanted to give up and say this is to hard, I’m never going to be like my friends and family because they don’t have a physical disability like I do. All my friends and family that I surround myself with have helped me realize that especially my parents.

One activity that I was really involved in during my freshmen year was Cru. Cru is a Christian ministry on campus. In the beginning of the year I went on a retreat with them. During that weekend I learned many things about myself. The first thing was that everybody is made to make a difference and that nobody is perfect so it’s ok to have a disability. Another lesson that I learned is that everybody is here to make a difference. That’s when I started to find my voice. I realized that even though I have a disability I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. I realized that I like to use my voice to help others, whether it’s through ministry or just helping people. There is a song that I heard called What Faith Can Do, the chorus just believes and having faith can get you through almost anything. That’s how I believe I found my voice.

Morgan Mondello
Class of 2018

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