Cheyanne Perry Suarez ‘19
Occupation: Master of Fine Arts student, publisher, and patient advocate
Like many students at North Greenville University, I grew up in church. I was saved and baptized in the fifth grade, was thoroughly involved in the youth group, and attended vacation Bible school every summer. Despite my upbringing, I never thought I would attend a Christian college. In fact, after graduating as high school valedictorian, I had received a full scholarship to my dream liberal arts school in Winter Park, FL. I was majoring in English with the hopes of a career in teaching.
However, the Lord had other plans. I began experiencing health complications from the progression of my underlying genetic condition. Instead of reveling in the excitement of choosing my courses and decorating my dorm, a team of doctors shoved a feeding tube down my nose, and a drab hospital room became my new home for eight whole months. I had to defer my scholarship.
Throughout that long, arduous hospital admission, I felt hopeless, lost, and confused. I questioned why God paved the way for my original dreams solely to have the hypothetical door slammed in my face. But then the Lord spoke to me. I realized I was not the only young adult suffering from a chronic illness. I could still have a positive impact. I aspired to portray that living a full life with a chronic illness is possible. Although we may not understand the reasons for our suffering during our time on earth, every struggle brings Him glory. Somehow, someway.
When I was finally discharged from the hospital, my family and I relocated from the sunny state of Florida to South Carolina. That is when I was first introduced to NGU. The online psychology program was a perfect fit.
Since graduating from NGU, I am currently pursuing my Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Lindenwood University. In the meantime, I write about psychology and neuroscience topics for CogniFit—a company that creates brain training games for patients with dementia and other neurological conditions. I have also written a children’s book titled Pearl Spots a Friend. I am part of the publishing team at Imagine We Publishers, heavily involved in patient advocacy, and have had the opportunity to work with a company that offers genetic testing to patients with rare genetic diseases. Studying at NGU was an integral component of my testimony.