My Journey: Doug

My name is Doug Yeager and I am currently a senior majoring in neurobiology and physiology. This is my fourth year participating in Terp Thon and I am currently on the Morale Committee for my third year on Planning Team. Terp Thon has had a tremendous impact on my life. My Terp Thon journey started after dancing for twelve hours my freshman year, and I saw what kind of a difference I could make in the world. I learned from all of the Miracle Kids about everything they have gone through and got to see the smile on their faces when performing the morale dance. I was impressed by the 300 hardworking, committed students working so hard to put on such a great event. This inspired to me to want to get more involved in the cause. After dancing, I joined planning team and joined more organizations where I got to help others who needed it.

This inspired me to change my major from chemical engineering to neurobiology and physiology pursuing a pre-med track. I realized that for the rest of my life I wanted to have that same impact on people everyday. I can thank Terp Thon for opening up my eyes and allowing me to see the difference one person can make on another, and how tremendous of an impact thousands of dancers coming together can make. I am excited to enjoy my senior year while pursuing a career that will allow me to make a difference every single day. Terp Thon has been life changing for me and I can’t wait to make the most of it as a senior this March!

My Journey: Aishu

My name is Aishu and I am a senior Physiology-Neurobiology and Psychology major and this is my first year on TTPT. My journey with Children’s National began during my sophomore year during which I was a Patient Care Volunteer on the floor 6 East, the hematology/oncology unit. This experience was emotionally vivid, as I was given the opportunity to directly interact with all the children on the floor, play games with them, talk to their parents, understand their stories, and be a part of their lives. Shortly after, I started volunteering with a program called DC STRIVE, where students like myself from the University of Maryland offer mentorship and support to doubly vulnerable, low-income sickle cell anemia patients at Children’s National.

Being able to watch these teens grow into decisive, resilient young adults who are empowered for success beyond grade school and know how to effectively navigate the unique struggles of chronic illness is such a rewarding experience. Even in the face of distress and illness, working with the clinicians and staff is an immensely valuable experience and has shaped my lifelong interest in wanting to help families cope with severe pediatric illness.

I can truly say that Children’s National holds a special place in my heart and has greatly shaped the image of the type of doctor I wish to become one day. I hope my story inspires you all to look for your own unique ways to change the world around you!

My Journey: Audrey

When I was a kid, I was super active and enjoyed playing sports more than almost anything else. When I was in high school, I was very involved with competitive cheerleading. I was at the gym almost every day, working on learning new skills as well as making my current skills more consistent.

I got my first concussion when I was 16 from tumbling. The recovery was not very long, since this was my first one, and I was able to get back to practicing pretty quickly. Unfortunately, I suffered two more diagnosed concussions in the next year in addition to some smaller head injuries. After the last concussion, I was experiencing severe head and neck pain everyday for months. I also was having to take time off of school and even when I was able to return, my schoolwork was still negatively impacted. The worst part for me though was that I had to stop practicing the sport I loved.

Luckily, I saw a concussion specialist who referred me to Children’s National. At Children’s my neurologist gave me various treatment plan options that my family and I could choose between. He was extremely flexible and understanding of my situation. He referred me to other doctors like physical therapists and massage therapists who also helped me recover. 

Because of Children’s, I was able to slowly ease back into exercising as my symptoms subsided. Although I still suffer lingering side effects of my concussions, I am now healthy enough that I can train and compete with club triathlon here at the University of Maryland. I am lucky that I was able to be treated by such a quality health care system, and I want every child to have the same opportunities and care that I was able to have.