Overcoming Adversity: Pelican Member Morgan Setliff | Pelican State CU


My name is Morgan Setliff and I am from Pineville, Louisiana. I just graduated from Pineville Highschool about two months ago and I spend a lot of time preparing for the next step in my life. I like to spend time with my family and friends just to get that little bit of extra time in before I leave. She has always been one to look at the good in others. She’s always loved animals. She’s always looked at the good in people, good in our family. She’s a very talented dancer, she’s been dancing since she was two. Morgan started to have more intense headaches right before the Christmas holidays in 2018. She’s always suffered with headaches, but these were different. These were ones where she would say, “Mom there’s something else going on.” And she kinda knew. When I finally was like mom I really think there’s something the matter, we went to go see the eye doctor. He told me that it was fine, that it would adjust in a few weeks. I noticed the symptoms first when I was driving. So I would be just driving down the road and I’d start to see two cars when there was only one and I wouldn’t be able to notice when I was switching lanes just because of the lines were not in the places they were supposed to be. My eyes started to show signs of esotropia. That’s when my eyes started to actually move forward and closer to each other. That’s when it really scared us. The pressure in my head, pressing putting pressure against the optic nerves. That was causing the actual cross-eyedness. I’d have to go home from school at night and go straight to bed because I couldn’t function. I’d not be able to look at the light, I’d have to close my eyes. I’d be in crying pain, I wouldn’t be able to study. Whenever she had inward turning of her right eye is when I realized that we were not dealing with just a normal headache. And that’s when we took things a little bit more seriously, and went to Shreveport to see a specialist. We were admitted from that point on. When I heard the diagnosis, it was just a really scary part. I was so confused, I didn’t know how something so serious could have crept up on me like that. Still to this day the diagnosis is kind of confusing. It could happen at any point in my life and I think that’s the scariest part. Still a lot of unknown. We never quite know when the pseudotumor cerberi may come back. What the symptoms may reappear with her eyes, the vision, and then also the more terrible headaches. It means fake tumor. Basically, my brain thought there was a tumor so it was producing spinal fluid and brain fluid and just producing too much. That was putting pressure on my optic nerve, causing me not to be able to see the way I was supposed to. I was just really glad that I had the amazing doctors and nurses at Willis-Knightington to explain everything to me. The pressures on her optic nerve and on her brain stem were four times higher than what they needed to be. Just being in the hospital for that long, I never thought it would have took that big of a toll on me. I was in the hospital for about a week and a half, but I stayed out of dance for about a month. It just hurt me a lot. While midterms were going on, I came back in the middle of them, I wasn’t seeing the scores that I was used to. I was falling behind in my honors classes and it was just really hard to just get back to where I was. I had to train myself mentally and physically to get back. I had to start reading more books, I had to just start training my mind more to get back to where I was. I had to start going the extra mile with dance line and all these sports just to be able to perform with my dance line again. Before the illness, I was a very punctual and organized student. I loved learning, taking on new experiences, and I loved being part of a team and organizations and volunteering. My life is all about that. I love to just help the people around me and become the best person I could be. With my illness, it completely diminished all that. I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t help others because I couldn’t help myself. I was able to meet a past co-worker, Morgan, this week and in meeting her, she asked Morgan “How have you been feeling?” She told her, you know I’ve been doing well. When Morgan was going through those troubles and was sick She said, “We were at work, this was at Bubba Q’s.” Morgan prayed with me. She grabbed my hand and we’d stop, and she would pray. She would say, it wasn’t about her. It was for me. My life wasn’t perfect and I was going through some things. She said, Morgan saw the good in me. She was able to overlook her selfishness and prayed for herself and prayed for me. I looked at Morgan and was waiting for a response and she said, “Mom, we’re not supposed to pray for ourselves.” I think the illness has definitely helped me grow. I learned that, life is short, my life could have been taken away from me at the age of eighteen. I have so many aspirations and dreams that I want to accomplish and so many people I want to help. So many things that I just want to do. Just the thought of not being able to do that stuff it is really sad. I just appreciate life so much more now. I am involved in my community in a lot of ways. I really like to just get involved, and my high school made that really easy. We did a lot of work with our janitors at our school. We made shoeboxes for needy children during Christmas. I like to do a lot of work with the little children So, I tutored a lot for kids that just needed it. My most favorite thing to do is work with the animals. I did a lot of fostering through the U Care Project. In the animal center in Pineville. I was able to help a lot of animals not become euthanized, or not be euthanized, and help them find forever homes. For someone her age to have the attitude that she does is so impressive because you see so many younger kids at this time in their life, just not really worried about school, not really worried about community involvement, or volunteering. It just shows what type of person she is and how dedicated she is to not only working on herself but helping in the community as well. My motivation is just my friends and family. And just knowing that I can have a good future. That I can make a change and I can be the change I want to see. That is just what keeps me going, keeps me focused in school, I want to become an emergency room physician. The thought of that and knowing that I can help those people and I want everybody to just find their own happiness because it can motivate you in so many ways. And when you have that motivation, you’re able to do anything you want to do. It was like 11 o’ clock at night and I was studying and I called my mom and I was like, “Mom! Pelican State called me!” And she was like, “What?!” And I said, “They called me!” I was so excited! I hadn’t known I had won yet. I had to wait until the next morning, and I called her back the next morning. She told me that I had won a scholarship but then she told me I had won another scholarship and I started crying and then she started crying. It was such a great moment, just knowing that all my hard work finally paid off. Heart for service and Pelican Perseverance Awards these are our two newest awards for 2019. We based these awards off of values that we hold dear here at Pelican. Our Heart for Service Award is given to the applicant that exhibits an outstanding dedication to their community. The Pelican Perseverance Award is given to the applicant that has demonstrated strength in overcoming adversity in their life. This year, one winner overcame great adversity and exhibited immense dedication to their community. In fact, this winner had 100 hours of community service! Their volunteer work included tutoring, serving food to the homeless, fostering animals, and giving back to children in need at Christmas. The winner is, Morgan Setliff. Congratulations, Morgan! 100% of the scholarship money is going towards Louisiana Tech University. Which that’s where I’m going to be attending in the fall. It’s going to help me offset some of the costs. And help me better save up for my intentions of going to medical school. Morgan does have a very bright future. I think she is welcoming new experiences, she’s welcoming the opportunity to meet new people. And find her path and her journey in life.

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