‘Ever Forward’; To Her Future

Anthony Dellamura | Marlin Chronicle

By Kayla Brown

Making a mark here at Virginia Wesleyan seemed easy for Alaskan-born freshman Mary-Rae Ratigan, who is from Franklin, Virginia. She finds it easy to adjust to new surroundings.
“I moved around a lot, since both of my parents are in the military,” said Ratigan.
Her mother is currently in the Air Force, and her father is in the Army. She said that it was “a breeze” for her to become involved on campus, since she is so accustomed to change.
Ratigan is a Wesleyan Ambassador, a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma, a delegate for our Panhellenic Council and the Manager of Culture and Learning for the Wesleyan Activities Council. In her rare spare time, she enjoys listening to music, dancing and watching Netflix. However, for the most part, she prefers to stay busy.
“I like making an impact on someone’s day, and I know that I can achieve that by being involved,” said Ratigan.
Her strong work ethic and dedication to doing what she loves is visible to those around her.
“She’s always on time, a hard worker, dependable, and comes to work with a smile,” said Bradford Jones, assistant director of admissions.
“Without a doubt, I knew that this school was for me,” said Ratigan.
She was initially given information about Virginia Wesleyan with the help of her guidance counselor in high school and she’s been in love with the Marlin community ever since.
“I feel more than just a number here at Virginia Wesleyan,” said Ratigan.
She knew that this was the perfect place for her to become involved, and branch out in a variety of clubs and organizations looking for members. Ratigan took the initiative and obtained leadership positions in multiple organizations within her first semester.
“You’ll always see her on campus doing something, because she’s involved in everything,” said freshman Michael McOsker. He described Ratigan as being “reliable, supportive, outgoing, fun and enthusiastic.”
“She’s one of those people who will volunteer to do something, when others are sitting there quietly,” said McOsker.
Not only has her family’s military background and her enjoyment of engaging with others help prepare her for college, but the health challenges she faced and conquered early on in life have as well.
“I remember this day like it was yesterday, because my life forever changed after that,” said Ratigan. On January 19, 2005, she discovered that she had Type 1 Diabetes. This form of diabetes develops when one’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep one’s blood sugar at a normal level. “I was really sluggish for nearly a month, and I didn’t know what was wrong,” said Ratigan. That’s when she went to the hospital, and found out that her blood sugar was over 500, which is above the normal level.
Despite the life-changing news, Ratigan remained optimistic about her recent health problem. “I don’t think I’d be where I am, if I didn’t have to deal with having diabetes,” said Ratigan.
Being diagnosed as a diabetic at the age of 8 has helped her learn the importance of responsibility at an early age. “I’m the only one who can take care of my body, and it’s up to me to be responsible for it,” said Ratigan. She eats the proper foods and keeps track of her sugar intake, to ensure that her blood sugar level remains at a content level.
She also uses an insulin pump, which she’s had for about 4 years now. This gives her insulin at all times and allows her to keep her blood sugar under control by providing insulin through a tube attached to her stomach. “People have asked me if it’s a pager, or a cell phone, since it goes off to alert me,” said Ratigan, laughing. It alerts her when her blood sugar is over the normal level, and it also allows her to program the foods she eats.
Not only is Ratigan serving the campus community through involvement, but she is also excelling academically. She was on the Dean’s List for the fall 2014 semester. She is looking forward to making an impact on those around her, and is excited to see what her future at Virginia Wesleyan has waiting for her.
“Even though I am involved, I still remain focused on my grades,” said Ratigan.