When first-year Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy student Angeline Main graduated from high school in 2009, she had one goal — to become a nurse.
She was accepted into the University of Akron’s nursing program, but personal matters got in the way. “A lot of pain and heartbreak happened that year. I couldn’t handle it and I wanted to get away,” she says.
Shortly after, Main enlisted in the United States Air Force and trained to become a dental technician at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. It wasn’t long before “life happened” — again.
Main was in the process of re-enrolling in nursing school when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis — two major diagnoses that brought her military career to a halt.
“From there, I really didn’t think I could physically do nursing. So I decided to look elsewhere in the health care field because I knew I had to help people. I was put on this earth to help people,” she says.
A firm believer that everything happens for a reason, Main used her medical retirement as an opportunity to pursue a career in pharmacy. After completing the College of Pharmacy’s required prerequisites at Stark State University, Main matriculated to NEOMED to begin the Fall 2019 semester.
Retiring from the Air Force was emotionally very hard, acknowledges Main. Even with therapy, it has been difficult learning how to deal with such serious diagnoses at a young age and persevere in trying to start a career.
“NEOMED has definitely helped me in dealing with my chronic illnesses and is helping me achieve my goals,” she says. Accommodations have helped. For example, the testing center provides her with the option of having more time, depending on how she feels.” If needed, I can take a moment during a test and I don’t have to worry too much about the time. I know there are alternative options for me if I have any physical problems. There are just so many options here, including people for me to talk about my troubles to, if I have any,” says Main.
For now, she looks forward to getting back into the health care field and working face-to-face with patients. Main reminds her peers to never give up.
“Keep moving forward.”