Toni Wild Speaks to Carey Scholars
Hattiesburg, Miss., April 15, 2014 - Toni Wild, an inspirational speaker who has survived two life-threatening diseases, spoke to Carey Scholars during their monthly Honors Colloquium at William Carey University on April 11. Toni, a nurse who also serves as a volunteer advocate for the American Heart Association and Donate Life Mississippi, told her incredible story of overcoming unthinkable hardships and how a heart transplant from organ donation saved her life.
Her tumultuous journey began at age 29 when Toni was diagnosed with breast cancer. After overcoming the disease, she faced another life-changing circumstance when her husband was killed in an accident. Toni made the difficult decision to donate his organs, finding comfort in the fact that she would be helping other families. Less than a year later, her breast cancer returned, and after surviving another round of treatment, doctors explained that her heart was so weakened from cancer treatments that she would need a transplant to survive. Toni got a new heart, and now encourages others to sign up to be organ donors and give the gift of life. Today, she also sets a wonderful example of living a healthy lifestyle and giving back, running in every charitable marathon that she can find.
The Carey Scholars whom Toni spoke to are select students chosen to be part of the prestigious Presidential Honors Program based on academic excellence. The 2013 – 2014 Carey Scholars have the largest freshman class to date with 33 students, and these students have an average ACT score of 30. Dr. Scott Hummel, provost, leads the program.