Breast cancer awareness

What We Learned From Nursing Student Brandy Smith

Completing any college or post-college program is a lot of work, and for nursing students the stakes are even higher, since human lives will eventually depend on how well you learn the material. And like with anything worth having, the path to graduation presents the occasional obstacle. For some people, it’s financial stresses, for others, it’s figuring out how to balance family and school. But for nursing student Brandy Smith, the obstacle was much, much more sobering.

Right in the middle of her nursing school program, Brandy discovered a large lump during a self examination. Sure enough, the diagnosis came back with the dreaded word: cancer. Cancer had plagued the Smith family for years-with Brandy’s mother and aunts all facing their own battles with the disease. But while the diagnosis may have seemed like a perfect excuse for Brandy to slow down and let go of her goals and aspirations, she did the opposite.

“Growing up, watching my mom, she just pushed through everything,” Brandy told local news station WKYT. “She was like if it’s God’s will it’s going to happen. So I just kind of took on her mentality.”

Instead of quitting, Brandy continued her studies, despite a full chemotherapy treatment and double mastectomy. She also found time to mentor younger women throughout her battle.

“I feel like if I sat at home and dwelled on it, it would be worse so I wanted to surround myself with positive people,” said Brandy.

And the really great news? Not only is Brandy still working towards graduation and a career as a nurse, but she’s now been declared cancer free. She hopes to be able to use her experience in the fight against cancer in her nursing career, and has set her sights on pediatric oncology.

We’ve learned a lot from reading Brandy’s story-namely that while we might not face her exact challenges, there’s very little that can stand between us and our goals if we don’t allow it. Everyone will face some type of challenge-some small, some large, and some (like Brandy’s) life altering-but with the right attitude, a clear goal, and the right people around us, nothing can stand in our way.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are,” writes playwright George Bernard Shaw. “I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

So a big congratulations to Brandy Smith for both of her incredible achievements-you’re going to make a wonderful nurse. And to those fighting your own individual battles on your way to building a better career, hang in there and keep moving forward. A lot of people work towards that light at the end of the tunnel, but as a nurse-you become the light at the end of the tunnel.

You’ve got this!

If you’d like more information on enrolling in one of Unitek College’s nursing programs, contact us here for more information.