When faced with overwhelming adversity, some people choose to give up — but one Minot woman persevered, leaping over the many hurdles she faced.
“She has always been a hard worker she’s never let anything stop her,” said Minot State University Instructor Chelsie Hultz.
Shelby Gantzer is a former Beaver at MSU. She studied Elementary Education.
“I didn’t want to do anything else. I didn’t want to work in a grocery store or anything like that. I knew that I was going to be a teacher and that was the only job that God had in mind for me,” said Gantzer.
Her love has always been in teaching, but her time at MSU wasn’t all “rainbows and butterflies.” After suffering a traumatic head injury in 2012, Gantzer began experiencing life changing health effects.
“I was rushed to the hospital. They told me I had a seizure, I had no idea what that meant, and then I did okay for a while. I thought that was maybe it, but then a couple months later I had my second one and went to the hospital and that’s when they said I had to be diagnosed with epilepsy because if you have two or more seizures you’re considered an epileptic,” she said.
This is when things took a turn for the worse.
“I was in my junior year of college,” she said. “I ended up having to drop out that semester for a few years.”
It was hard for her to remember things her neurologist classified it as foggy memory from her disorder she even contemplated giving up teaching.
“I didn’t think it was fair to students to have a teacher with epilepsy. I didn’t think that they deserved to have a teacher that would have seizures in the classroom or would have a fog,” Gantzer said.
Battling two years of doubt, she finally hit a turning point coaching youth basketball and having a strong support system. She found her love for teaching again, but it was an individual that made the difference in her life.
“This is what my grandpa always wanted for me. He had passed away a few years ago, which was part of the reason I needed to go back,” she said.
And she did it, graduating a year and a half later. She now uses her epilepsy as a teaching tool for her students.
“And then they can take it along where if they see someone just randomly having a seizure they can tell their mom, ‘hey this is what I learned we can help,'” she said.
Tattooed on her body is “persevere”.
“It just means that I should’nt give up and I have to keep going,” Gantzer said.