Guest speaker brings inspiration to the Mill


Dana Gould

On Nov. 7, the Interact Club invited guest speaker Marsha Schmid to share the story of her life-altering stroke and the difficult road to recovery. Schmid left students with an awe-inspiring message of hope, resilience in the face of staggering adversity, and never giving up.

On Nov. 7, Interact Club invited guest speaker Marsha Schmid to speak at their morning meeting. Schmid provided the students with an inspiring story of resilience and never giving up while allowing them the opportunity to better appreciate all they have.

“[Marsha] Schmid was such an inspiration and really demonstrates the perseverance of humans and how it’s never [impossible] to have a positive mindset,” Interact Club president and senior Quynh Phan said.

At only 33 years old, Schmid went to a chiropractor for a pain she was experiencing in her neck. There seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary with her visit. However, it turns out there was. While attempting to relieve her of neck pain, the chiropractor inadvertently snapped one of the arteries supplying blood to her brain. This reduced blood flow to the brain, causing a stroke.

Schmid’s story, while tragic, is a source of inspiration for anyone who hears it.

— A&E co-Editor Dana Gould

This unfortunate incident left Schmid completely paralyzed and in a state called locked in syndrome. People in this condition are aware of their surroundings but unable to communicate verbally or move. Schmid remained in this state for three months before finally becoming responsive. Surprisingly, after three months without the ability to speak, move, or even open her eyes, Schmid had not yet lost hope or given up.

At this point, however, only a portion of the battle was won as Schmid had years of therapy ahead of her. Therapy to learn how to breathe without a machine again, therapy to learn how to swallow again, therapy for almost anything imaginable. While the road to recovery would be a long one, Schmid never lost hope and her condition continued to improve little by little.

Schmid’s story, while tragic, is a source of inspiration for anyone who hears it. She shares her personal tragedy in hopes of providing students with the hope that things get better and that giving up is not an option.

Members of the Interact Club asked her questions, to which she answered blatantly and truthfully. The opportunity also helped Schmid get closer to accomplishing her own goal of becoming a motivational speaker.

“[She] put everything in perspective. Sometimes we take everything for granted and do not appreciate what we have until [it is gone]. Looking at her story made me appreciate everything that I have,” Interact Club sponsor Marcela Sample said.

*Sample and the Interact Club would like to thank Marsha Schmid for sharing her inspirational story and Dr. Chris Boehm for introducing Schmid to the entire group.