Mercer Student with Cerebral Palsy Eyes Graduation

Cerebral Palsy is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. It can hinder the ability of the legs, arms, or hands. Jeremy Sloan, a student at MercerUniversity, battles cerebral palsy everyday.

Sloan grew up with health problems, fought through family issues, and is determined to push through and beat the odds.

“I may have a disability, but I don’t believe in giving up,” says Sloan.

Sloan grew up in Auburn, New York and struggled with the complications of cerebral palsy. When his alcoholic parents became abusive Sloan knew it would be best for him to get away. So all alone, he left the cold winters of New York to come to Georgia and then later enrolled at MercerUniversity.

“When I first started Mercer I didn’t think I could do it. Basically once I took one class I knew this was going to be difficult, but what I did was tell myself I can do this.”

At 37-years-old, the cerebral palsy physically limits Sloan to a chair and many times he’s unable to shift his weight. Sitting through a three or four hour class can be excruciating.

“I just have to take it day by day because if I don’t I’ll just want to give up and crawl in the bed and never get back out.”

It was at MercerUniversity where Jeremy found a family. With classmates and professor’s support, Jeremy is now one class away from graduation and one step closer to helping others with disabilities.

“I have always wanted to help others, but if I can’t do anything, what I like to encourage to people who have disabilities, is you can do it.”

Carole Burrowbridge is the director of disabilities services at Mercer and says Jeremy has been a joy and an inspiration, as he pursues a bachelor’s degree in Human Services. Burrowbridge believes although Jeremy receives support from the Mercer Community, at the end of the day the coursework is up to him.

“I think his classmates kind of rallied around him and provided the support he needs too. But for the most part it’s been up to him, he has to complete the same degree requirements anybody else does,” says Burrowbridge.

Sloan must take Biology next semester and then plans to go on to graduate school to get his masters. Through the pain and suffering of a crippling disease, Jeremy’s determination rings true.

“I use a wheelchair, but that wheelchair is not going to stop me from reaching those stars because no matter what I have to do, I’m going to get there,” says Sloan.

Anyone interested in helping Jeremy during the holiday season can contact Heritage Health Care of Macon at (478) 784-5823.

Categories: Local News

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