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Our Hero: Natalia

BY Kadesha Washington

Natalia Famous is a 20-something, young adult living with sickle cell disease – a blood disorder that severely weakens the immune system. She was born with the disease and at the age of 10, she suffered a stroke.

“While my cognition was unaffected, I could not fully control my right arm, no matter how hard I tried.  My hand was heavy; my writing was a lazy scrawl,” Natalia said. “The signal from my brain to my right arm was completely stifled.  Luckily, there were no lasting symptoms and no lingering effects, but the experience really shaped me as a person and my goals for the future.” 

As a result of her diagnosis and stroke, Natalia decided to pursue a career in speech-language pathology. In 2016, She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mercy College in New York where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology. She was also the valedictorian and the student speaker of the class. Her nurse practitioner, Maureen Licursi, said Natalia is a “testament of hope, strength, and courage” and we agree.


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