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Bachelors Degree After Asthma
Asthma nearly killed me a few years ago. I remember waking up only a few days later & thinking I was not ready to die - I had way too much life to live! So I took back my life and accomplished 1 of my biggest goals: I completed my bachelors degree!

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Kimberly, read up on the Americans with Disabilities Act, and contact the school you are thinking of applying to and speak to whomever is responsible for overseeing their ADA-compliance. Remember ADA is only applicable if the school accepts federal money (but I believe that includes loans and grants to students).  I wouldn’t create much of a paper trail yet -  I’d call and ask the questions. Remember your Congressional Representative or Senator also can be good sources of help. Believe it or not, that’s actually a big part of their jobs!

I’m actually a little more concerned about your concern about your spring and fall flairs. Is your asthma not well-controlled?  What does your doctor say about it and your dreams of law school?  What are your triggers?  Any way to reduce them before you begin applying for law school?  

Graduate school in many fields — law, being one (mine was economics) — is incredibly demanding.  You are obviously a very smart and highly focused/motivated student (four small children and a chronic condition attest to that fact), but graduate school is usually exponentially more demanding.  That said, more schools are trying to accommodate different needs, so they might make it possible for you to listen to lectures and participate in class discussions through a remote link — a webinar.   

One of the other things I’d consider doing is asking to be introduced to a couple of their recent graduates with disabilities — and then meeting with them in person if possible.  There are things people will confide in person that they are loathe to say on the phone or in a letter/email.  Then when they’ve gotten comfortable with you and your questions, explain some of your specific concerns and ask what they think.  Their responses might be colored by competition, but hopefully they’ll tell you honestly what they think.

Regardless, as one late bloomer to another — I’m so very proud of you and your accomplishments. I always say I would rather die doing what I love and am good at, what makes a difference, than watch the years slip by while I’m sitting safely by a window. I’m certain you’ve given your children the very best kind role model. 

Please let us know what happens, what you decide.  Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be filled with new challenges you’ll beat  



Hi K8SMOM2002!

Funny you should mention accommodations in school...  I actually did not receive any asthma specific accommodations at school simply because I did not ask for them.  And to be honest, I did not even know I was allowed to receive accommodations for having asthma.  I am also dyslexic so I received extended time on my math exams, but never did it cross my mind that I could also get accommodations for asthma as well.  Can you maybe tell me more?  I really would like to go on to get my law degree but worry about my fall and spring asthma flare ups and whether I could really handle that sort of course work with asthma.


I love it! You've poured your heart (and lungs!) into making life better for you and your family ... we'd love to hear more of your story on our community online forums!

What accommodations were you able to get from your school in order to help you along the way? You can join us on our discussion about  what people say when you tell them you have asthma or allergies.


I'm really proud of you.  I know exactly what that takes.  I've had to fight that battle more than a few times, but I'm still here. 

You will find other memories with your 3-yo to take the place of that Christmas.  It's just one day -- don't give it more power than it deserves.  What if you'd been in the military and posted abroad?  You were sick, not laying on a beach while he huddled in a Dickensian poor house.  And you know he won't remember it. What I guarantee he will remember is that his mom didn't let it stop her from living her life, and she went on to do everything she could.  Which, when you think of it, is a pretty impressive gift to give a child.

Congratulations!  Now what are you gonna do to top it?  I did a master's in international economics and international relations at 40, I'm sure you can think of something.




Hi Debbie!

I am a mother of 4 who found out that asthma was larger than I ever realized a few years back when I landed myself in ICU 2 days before Christmas. I missed my son’s 3 year old Christmas - one which most parents agree is the BEST Christmas ever. I knew I could never get those moments back... so instead of doubling down in the face of adversity, I decided to accomplish my goals. So I went back to school and finished my bachelors degree. It was tough physically going onto campus, walking long distances and up and down stairs - but I DID IT!!! I am proud that I overcame and continue to thrive... ASTHMA WON’T TAKE MY LIFE AWAY FROM ME BEFORE I’M READY!!! )))

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