Renegade Struggle: Overcoming Adversity

Haley Duval, Reporter

“One day I was at church singing… my mic dropped and I went into a seizure. It was a life-risking [seizure]. It was the worse one you can possibly have…”

Like any other incoming BC student, Charisma Ramos Gasca, 18, is loving her first semester of college. But unlike most college students, Charisma has the struggle of dealing with multiple different health conditions that have affected her education and life. It wasn’t easy for Charisma to get where she is today.

Some of Charisma’s main conditions that affected her education the most are migraines and epilepsy, a disorder that disturbs nerves in the brain, causing a seizure. Charisma showed signs of epilepsy when she was young but the seizures didn’t start happening until she was much older. One of her life rising seizures happened when she was around 14-years-old. She had an epileptic seizure while performing a song on stage at her church.

At one point her epileptic attacks and migraines got in the way of her schooling and she was close to dropping out of high school at the beginning of her sophomore year of high school. School became difficult with her missing so much school due to pain and sickness. For a while, she even lost her hearing.

Charisma’s teachers and parents helped to figure out a plan to have her stay and finished school through homeschooling. She ended up graduating a semester early at South High School in Bakersfield. She was able to walk on stage at her class graduation. She says her migraines still get “pretty crazy” but she has learned to work through it.

Charisma doesn’t exactly remember how many times she had surgery in the past 18 years there’s “too many to count,” but she is certain it was definitely more than 20.

She was born prematurely with one leg longer than the other. Her parents were told by doctors that she wouldn’t be able to walk, hear in one ear, or be able to speak. However, Charisma defied all odds and is able to do all those things.

Charisma added that she wasn’t supposed to live.

“I didn’t let my health stop me from doing things in life. No life situation stopped me. I kept going with the [Lord] giving me strength.”

Charisma believes she has nothing to fear and there is nothing she can’t do.

Charisma knows her family was and still is always there for her. She says her parents are the most supportive. Her biological mother wasn’t able to take care of Charisma due to her health issues and her grandparents took her in and became her parents. They were there for her every hospitable visit, every surgery, and each waking moment. Charisma is thankful and wouldn’t be here today without all the people who supported her over the years.

She now attends BC, majoring in Child Development and enjoys working for her church’s children department.