Cancer & Classes: 2 Things That Are Not Stopping Tanya

Soon-to-be Globe University graduate Tanya Lesavage shares her struggles and successes throughout the pursuit of her education.

To say Globe University student Tanya Lesavage is an inspiration to others would be an understatement. Not only is Lesavage a mother, business administration student, and soon to be graduate; but she is also a woman living with stage-3 cancer.

Tanya’s story comes to us from Online instructor Katie Adams who says, “She [Tanya] is just amazing!  Currently she is in the midst of her third round of chemotherapy. Yet, she excels in class, and doesn’t use excuses or ask for any extras.”

Adams goes on to describe Lesavage by saying, “She is positive, encourages others, and is an overall a solid example of what we expect from our learners.”

So what keeps Tanya going? Keep reading to find out.

Who or what inspired you to pursue an education?

My Family. Especially my stepdaughter. She hates school. She thinks it’s hard, and she does not enjoy it at all. Leading by example, she has seen that I have to learn, read, complete assignments, and follow rules too. She just thought it was somewhere we send her so we had time for us. She has learned through observation that we, too, struggle, and we do it so we can have a good job, so we continue to learn, and most importantly of all, so we can do what we enjoy someday!

Also, my mom. I have seen her struggle my whole life being a single mom with no help. I always told myself I wanted to make her proud! She never wanted me to work in a factory or minimum wage job. It took me awhile to get the courage to go back to school, but I did. Here I am, and my mom couldn’t be happier in anticipation for graduation day!

Why did you choose Globe University?

I am from a college town. Good ole’ Stevens Point. But, when I walked into Globe and met the staff and had the tour, it was the sense of welcome. Finally, a feeling of belonging. I had never met anyone on campus, but I got the smiles in the hallways, and the simple “Hi” in passing. All from people I did not know. I was stopped and introduced by staff, and I felt like I was already a student. But more than a student, more than a college ID number, I felt like a friend!

What have been the struggles you have had to overcome in order to continue your education? 

One hard thing is my cancer. I battle treatments every Friday that can take me down for two to four days depending on the effect. So, I am very self-disciplined and determined to stay ahead, get a jump start on my week. I usually have everything done and completed by Friday morning, at the latest, so I can have the weekend to recoup. If it was a bad or good treatment, I usually use that down time to get ahead for the next week.

Do you have any advice for other students who may be considering giving up?

Don’t! Obstacles will face you at every crossroads in life. Giving up is just a way of letting bad luck or circumstance win. Be the best you can be, and in the end, you will prosper.

If you want to give up, talk to someone. The advisors are wonderful at setting the fears aside. If there is something else that is interfering with school that makes you feel like you want to give up, talk about it. But never give up. Don’t let yourself down. Don’t give yourself the feeling down the road of “What if”. Because you can’t answer that if you gave up. It will be harder to start if you decide to again.

Fight through it, and conquer it the best you can! Take school by the reins and show it who is boss! By keeping up a can-do attitude, you will be able to achieve anything you are determined to in life. Giving up is like getting a failing grade: neither are acceptable, and you know within yourself there is much better! Just work towards your goal, even if it’s little steps at a time, that’s better than no steps at all. Keep your head up—it will be a journey you won’t regret!

You have such amazing spirit and can-do attitude. What is your secret?

Life. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. And battling my cancer for the third time is proof that you can never guarantee where you will end up. But I will not give up. I will fight! I will show this disease who is boss, and I will show school the same through my grades and determination. I will not settle for good enough, I will fight for the best I can be. I not only live life for the present, but for the best is yet to come! I am the best I can be daily for me, my husband, my kids, and my family. I have the passion to succeed and the desire to be the best! I want to be my kids’ hero, just like my mom was mine. I won’t let anyone take an opportunity away from me, and to me every day is an opportunity!