Mother, Son Overcome Obstacles Together; Graduate from Bellevue, Creighton
It was another milestone in the journey for single mother Crystal Dosher. She had just gotten her only child, Kyle, settled in at Creighton University for his freshman year, while she herself was beginning pursuit of her own bachelor’s degree at Bellevue University.
It was all going swimmingly until April 2, 2016.
“I was home alone and had this massive headache,” Crystal said. “One symptom lead to another. I couldn’t talk. I found my phone and called my son for help. I didn’t realize I was having a stroke.”
Fortunately, Kyle did. He rushed home and transported his mother to Bellevue Medical Center, where she would spend the next few days. She pulled through because of her son, for her son. There were other challenges including a heart attack a few months later, but together they would meet every challenge.
Crystal was able to celebrate another milestone recently as she watched Kyle walk across the stage with his bachelor’s degree in finance in hand.
“It was overwhelming. I was so very proud of him,” Crystal said. “We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles to get to that point. It’s like a giant check mark. He’s persevered and it was a dream come true for me.”
Kyle will get to watch his mother check that same box when she walks in Bellevue University’s 2019 Spring Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, June 1 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Crystal will have earned her Bachelor of Science in Business.
“I'll be relieved. I just can’t wait to see that weight lifted off her shoulders,” Kyle said. “I know that this is the goal that she's had in her head for the longest time.”
The pair will likely celebrate the same way they celebrated Kyle’s graduation.
“We're simple people and so is our family,’ Kyle said. “We’ll celebrate by just going to Cracker Barrel and getting some chicken and dumplings and all that. That's satisfying enough.”
While Crystal and Kyle have buoyed each other during their journey, they are quick to point out that they have not been on this journey alone. Bellevue Church of Christ helped bolster the pair during the toughest times.
“They came and prayed for me. They've been a big inspiration to us,” Crystal said. “If we needed anything, they were there to help. I believe in a higher power and my faith has been what's gotten me through. For both Kyle and I, our strength and perseverance has allowed us to never give up and go after what we want, to be better people and to give back.”
Additionally, Crystal had support from friends and family across the community and Gallup in Bellevue (her former employer).
Key faculty and support staff helped Crystal navigate her degree program at Bellevue University while in recovery and beyond including Professor Michaela Schaben and Student Coach Sarah Hamik.
“Professor Shaben knew me before my stroke. She saw the effects. She told me just the other day that the one thing she knows about me is that I never give up. She’s been so supportive and so happy to see me succeed. And then Sarah has been there to encourage me throughout the stroke and coming back to school. She’s helped me find resources if I needed help, including tutoring.”
Crystal has recently taken a job at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a Customer Service Associate.
“I just started my first week of training,” Crystal said. “I’m very encouraged and hope to move up within the organization.”
For his part, Kyle is starting with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“I start June 10. I’ll be a Financial Institution Specialist and I'll spend four years taking tests and progressing to become a bank examiner. I'll be coordinating with other examiners to maintain stability and trust in the banks across America.”
Crystal is grateful to have come this far on her journey with her son and is looking forward to what’s next, including a bit of a breather from homework.
“We're very thankful for each day that we are blessed with and we just like spending time with family. It's been a crazy four years,” she said. “A lot of encouragement, prayers, and faith has kept us going and will continue in our next chapters.”