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Not Just Another Award Winner...This Grad Student Might Just Be a Superhero

Hien Hien (Cathy) Nguyen, RN, BSN, SNP, is not just a full-time graduate student in the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing Master’s program with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration. She’s the most recent Suzanne Renee Leider Nursing Award Honoree.  She’s also a telehealth nurse at a major kidney care company, the single mother of a teenage daughter, the youngest of eight siblings, and the first one in her family to earn a college degree. On top of all of that, she’s fighting cancer. 

Nguyen was recently diagnosed with stage II cervical cancer. But, rather than dwell on her circumstances, she’s simply added the role of cancer fighter to her busy life. Here’s her story in her own words…

“I’ve always challenged myself in academics and in my personal life. There were lots of times that I wanted to give up because the stress was either too high, or the criticism too depressing to accept. Yet, I am still here today fighting for my dreams and what I believe in.

“I am proud to have overcome hardships and obstacles in my way, while doing what I can to provide the best for my daughter. Perseverance and the belief that anything is possible if you put your heart and soul into have been my motivation to keep moving.

“My goal is to graduate and become a family nurse practitioner so that I can to give back. I want to use my skills and knowledge to spread the word about cervical cancer and this life-changing event. I hope to bring smiles back to those affected by this disease, just as others have given me hope and helped me smile a little more each day.

“The Latin phrase ‘Carpe diem’ means to ‘seize the day.’ I’ve learned that in order to live a meaningful life, you have to seize all the opportunities that come your way.

“I am honored and proud to be a recipient of the Suzanne Renée Leider Nursing Award. Like Suzanne Renée Leider, I hope to one day utilize my skills and knowledge to educate the community and provide care through empathy and compassion.”