Nurse of the Week: Cancer Survivor Christina Gay Achieves Dream of Becoming a Nurse

Nurse of the Week: Cancer Survivor Christina Gay Achieves Dream of Becoming a Nurse

Our Nurse of the Week is Christina Gay , a cancer survivor and ‘I Have a Dream’ program alum, who nurses patients back to health after surgery. The I Have a Dream program is designed to help more than 300 kids in low-income neighborhoods graduate from high school and move on to higher education. Gay was chosen to participate as a young fourth grader and now holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Gay started experiencing problems with her lower right leg the summer before her senior year of high school. It was swollen and painful, and she was told she had a fracture even though she had done nothing to cause one. Eventually an MRI revealed that she had a tumor. Several surgeries later she still hadn’t healed properly and the most viable option for getting back on her feet was to amputate.

Determined to give herself the best possible future, Gay decided to have her leg amputated. She was already in a nursing program at Clark College at that point, and unwilling to give up on her plans, Gay scheduled her surgery for spring break so that she could get back to school as soon as possible.

Gay is a now a graduate of the bachelor’s degree in nursing program at Washington State University Vancouver and a nurse at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. She credits the I Have a Dream program for helping her realize the importance of education and providing her with the guidance to achieve her dreams of becoming a nurse.

Having seen both sides of the nurse-patient relationship as a past cancer patient, Gay tells Columbian.com, “To understand what it’s like to be in that bed and not know what’s going on: It helps me when I explain something. I have a little more empathy…I feel like this is what I Have a Dream has instilled in me: You can do anything you dream!”

To learn more about Christina Gay and her unique path to a career in nursing, visit here.