My life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but one thing that has always been consistent(even when I had to miss some); my education. I was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was just six months old. Many people believe that arthritis only affects the joints, but the reality is, it affects your whole world.
My arthritis has not only affected my joints, but also my organs, and mentality of life. When I was ten I was two weeks away from having a stem cell transplant when my life was turned upside down. I had developed sepsis. I ended up being a coma for two months and rehabilitation for another two. Sepsis caused my toes and left fingertips to be necrotic, making them turn blue and fall off, all in a span of a year. While I was in a coma the doctors ended up doing an exploratory surgery on my abdomen to see if they could find the cause of sepsis. An early removal of staples caused my abdomen to reopen and become infected. I ended up having a wound VAC on for a year to close the wound. During the span of 1-3 years of recuperating I went to school trying my hardest to be at school as much as possible.
I promised myself that no matter what I would finish school trying my hardest. I believed, no matter what it took I was determined to earn a degree, whether that would be a meteorologist, doctor, child life specialist, or a photographer. I had a dream and I was going to make it a reality! Middle school was a very hard time for me socially and mentally. I pushed through it with all my might, I just kept saying only 7, 6, and 5 more years till I’ll be a senior. I went to school even while I was healing from a total hip replacement. I was on so much pain medicine that I was driving into walls, and a full day at school became unsafe. So, again I was stuck at home when all I wanted was to be at school learning.
In high school, I once again had to conquer complications from my arthritis and my weaker immune system. My freshman year I had eight ear infections. I kept being put on antibiotics, oral than IV. I was going to school with a needle and a tube stuck out of my chest, but I was still determined. In the spring of that year I had a mastoidectomy. When the surgeons went to take it out they found that the infection had ate through my skull and I had cerebral spinal fluid leaking out of my ears. This put me on bed rest for two weeks where i had to lay flat. Though I persevered my way through high school, I still ended up missing a half of the school year. Even though I had As and Bs a couple Cs that year I was failed in two of my classes. I eventually made those classes up in summer school. I still feel as though, it was unjust to give me those since I was not given the same opportunities to keep up my grade. The rest of my high school career I knew I had to work extra hard. By the time I graduated in 2016 I had earned a 2.9 GPA and a spotlight student. I finally did it! Despite all the obstacles, I was able to get into my number one school; Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin.
At Edgewood I met many new people but felt secluded. I was even discriminated against by a teacher and not given the same opportunity of other students which affected my grade. I was five hours away from home. Every week my mom had to drive back and forth, sometimes in 24-hours for me to be able to get my 6 hour treatments for my arthritis or to spend one on one time helping and caretaking. The campus was really hard for me to get around on.
In the spring my family experienced a tremendous loss of my grandfather, as he was my step father’s employer his death was felt in multiple dimensions. Even though I had successfully earned a 3.2 GPA, all the harder life situations had me thinking, my family needed me closer and I was ready for an different college experience. I had came to the conclusion that I would like to transfer to the University of Minnesota-Twin cities for my Sophomore year of College.
Than of course, life throws another challenge for me. Money. At the end of June we found out I could not apply to the University of Minnesota-Twin cities because of a financial mistake early in the year by my school, I now owed over $5,500 to Edgewood. I can not work, my mom earns a unlivable wage as my PCA, and due to the major death in the family we were already not financially well. I decided I would take off the fall of 2017 so we could figure out what to do.
Another bend in the river, in the fall I found out I needed an ankle fusion in January and the another after that is healed. Still unable to pull together the cash I need to get my transcripts released and with the fusion, I now had to take off the spring of 2018. With a plan, my specialists and I have figured out how to get me better off physically to start at the U of M in the fall. I am excited to have a new chance to experience college with more physical ability or at least less pain. I have risen to the challenge over and over. I have proved with ultimate strength and courage that I am able to meet my goals with complete and utter determination.
I am asking for help. I still need to find the money to pay back Edgewood, so I can apply for the University of Minnesota-Twin cities and pursue my education in Graphic Design. I am asking for your financial support in helping myself to realize a very possible dream and goal, earning my degree in Graphic Design. With your support I can give back to our communities in one of the most beautiful ways, capturing life moments in my personal perspective of photo artistry. My ambition is to support many organizations who give back to others, such as the Arthritis Foundation, and in doing so live the life I have been fighting for all along, a life of purpose. PLEASE DONATE. THE PRIORITY DUE DATE FOR THE APPLICATION IS FEBRUARY 1ST.
Arrian Madden an aspiring Graphic Designer.