HARROD — Caitlyn Musselman, an 18-year-old senior at Allen East High School, is hoping to become a radiation therapist after graduating college.
“They’re the ones that distribute the radiation to cancer patients,” Musselman said. “They go in and get them all set up and then actually distribute it into their bodies.”
Her motivation was her mother’s ordeal with ovarian cancer.
“It’s just something I’ve wanted to do since I watched my mom go through it,” she said. “She didn’t actually receive radiation. She just had chemo and a few surgeries. But I did a lot of research on the different jobs that are in the oncology department. And then I went in and job-shadowed a radiation therapist and it seemed like a good job.”
Her mother, Amy is doing better.
“She’s actually had it twice. She had it the first time back in 2012 and then they got rid of it and then it came back almost two years ago,” Musselman said.
Her journey to become a radiation therapist is just beginning.
“There’s two different options that I’m looking into. Either Ohio State, I’ll go there and get a four-year degree. I’ll start out in Lima and then I’ll move down to the main campus, or if I go down to South Carolina, I will be at the Technical College of the Lowcountry and get an associate’s degree in radiology technology, which is just x-rays and taking scans and then I’ll do online schooling for 13 months to become certified as a radiation therapist,” Musselman said.
She believes she’s received a good education at Allen East.
“I love all of our teachers. I like being able to know everyone, and it’s just always been a great community. I’m proud to be a part of it,” Musselman said.
When everyone went to remote learning last March, Musselman had to adapt, like every other student.
“When we first found out that we were going online for three weeks, everyone was excited and then they canceled everything and we were online until the end of the year. Prom was canceled. Graduations are basically canceled and that was sad. The school part of it was a lot easier than like a lot of other schools had it and I feel like we only had to Zoom in one day a week, which wasn’t much,” Musselman said.
Allen East is back to five days a week in-person learning, which is something she prefers.
“The administration has done a great job of keeping things as normal as they can,” Musselman said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.