UCLA Newsroom recently featured Chemistry & Biochemistry undergraduate student, Megan Cory, who formed a campus group to educate the public on ways to prevent diabetes.
UCLA Newsroom (By Enrique Rivero): It seems that everything in Megan Cory’s life has pointed her toward a career in medicine. It’s what she has wanted to do all her life — even after she got some bad news about her own health that would have frightened and discouraged most people.
Instead of lamenting her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, she has used that health condition to benefit UCLA and the community in several ways.
Ever since childhood, Cory has been fascinated by what doctors do. From her interactions with a neighbor and a family friend who were both doctors, she knew early on she wanted to be just like them.
“Ever since then, I knew that doctors make people feel better,” said Cory, now 20 years old and a UCLA biochemistry major with a minor in theater. “The cool thing is that … everything that’s happened to me since then has strengthened my wanting to be a doctor. It’s my calling. I didn’t have an epiphany. I felt like this my whole life, and I know I’m headed in the right direction.”
Megan Cory (Credit: Brandon Choe/Daily Bruin)
Her decision to pursue medicine was also affirmed when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Cory had always been active — almost tirelessly so — in theater, science fairs and athletics. “Everything you can think of, I was involved in,” she said. But at age 13, she was also constantly thirsty, and even though she was eating more, she was losing weight. So her parents took her to see a doctor who, at first, thought she was simply too busy. A visit to a cardiologist whose sister was an endocrinologist brought a diagnosis. “He smelled my breath, and he knew something was wrong,” Cory said.
She learned she had type 1 diabetes two days after her 14th birthday. It’s a day she will never forget. “I can play it like a movie in my head,” she said.
Her mother and father were sitting in the exam room while Cory was lying on the bed when the doctor gave them the news. Her mother passed out, and her father was devastated. Cory cried — but only because she didn’t understand what it all meant.
“After a few minutes, I stopped crying, and I asked myself, ‘Why are you crying? You don’t even know what it is,’” she recalled. “I stood up and asked the doctor, ‘What’s next? What do I need to do? This diabetes thing is not going to stop me from doing the things that I love.’”
Impressed with her positive attitude, her doctors later asked her to talk to other teens with diabetes. So many of them think of diabetes as a form of punishment, making it difficult for them to deal with it, she said.
The full article is available at the UCLA Newsroom.