April Wylie will graduate with a bachelor of science degree from
Wayne State College on Saturday. She plans to go to medical school in the near
future, and this summer she will marry 2010 WSC alumnus Josh Riesberg.
She also plans to go back into remission.
Wylie never imagined she would spend her senior year in a
Denver hospital undergoing treatment for leukemia.
"Finishing my senior year away from school has been a huge
heart break," she said. "This semester was supposed to be my fun semester,
where I got to actually spend time with my friends without studying all the
time. It was supposed to be the good year. Instead, I have spent most of my
time in and out of the hospital undergoing intense treatments."
Despite the distance and chemotherapy sickness, Wylie, an
honors student, has managed to motivate herself to finish her project for the
Honors Program and complete her coursework online with understanding from her
professors. She will graduate Summa cum Laude with Honors in the Major
chemistry/health science. She also completed a biology minor. Wylie calls this
finale both her biggest accomplishment and biggest struggle.
A Scottsbluff native, Wylie was an alternate for WSC's Rural
Health Opportunities Program (RHOP). In
her time at Wayne, she applied herself in her major as a peer tutor for math
and science and demonstrated her talents in the music department. She was also
active at the Catholic Newman Center and with the Health Science Club and
Cardinal Key. Currently on the alternate list to attend the University of
Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Wylie said she knows her time at Wayne State
prepared her well.
"The most important part of my education that will stick
with me is the relationships I built with my professors, especially all of the
science professors," she said. "They are so awesome and I was truly blessed to
be able to learn under them."
She also values the friendships she made with her peers.
Although many friends visited her in the hospital, being away from them made Wylie
value life and love in a new way.
"I was so driven, I never had time for people," she
remembers. "Now I have learned that time is a blessing, especially when you are
with those you love. Right now, nothing is better than taking a walk outside on
a beautiful day with someone I love."
Amid the anticipation of completing her degree requirements,
finalizing wedding plans and preparing for the next step in her education, Wylie
will leave Wayne State, determined to "show this leukemia who's boss."