by Jessica Ramirez
When Veronika’s mother was pregnant, an ultrasound showed her baby was missing the corpus callosum in her brain. The doctor warned the child could be born with some health problems or cognitive birth defects that could affect her ability to accomplish everyday tasks that other people wouldn’t think twice about doing. Today, Veronika is a 23-year-old woman, living with agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC), who has defied what doctors predicted for her to achieve both in her personal and professional life.
Recently, Veronika received a Community Association Institute certification which allows her to be recognized as a communication association manager at her parent’s property management business. Although this requires her to have more responsibilities, Veronika has found solace in the job because it accommodates the challenges she faces such as public speaking, time management, and memory recall.
Veronika initially had dreamed of becoming a teacher after being inspired her junior year of high school by her English literature teacher, Mr. Piskura. Before his class, Veronika hated reading because of bad classroom experiences she had in the past. “I really engaged with Mr. Piskura because he brought life into learning,” Veronika said. “My writing was horrible before him, and he made me realize it was my own mind that was holding me back from discovering what I was capable of.”
It took Veronika two years to pass 4 out of 5 MTEL exams towards earning her teaching license during college. This left Veronika defeated yet she still gradated with her teaching degree. She spent a year in the field before quickly realizing that the deadlines, lesson preparations and teaching itself were causing her to feel overwhelmed and would ultimately affect her ability to do the job well.
Like many recent college graduates who come to realize their degree isn’t what they want to pursue in life, Veronika switched career paths and decided that working at her parent’s property management business would be a better fit for her.
Her property management role allows Veronika a good work-life balance so she can do the things she enjoys such as dancing, hanging out with friends, and tapping into her creative side. Veronika says she does try new things and encourages others to get out of their comfort zones too.
While Veronika has already accomplished so much in her young life, there are still many goals that she wants to achieve like traveling and exploring the world.
It is also a priority for Veronika to raise awareness about disorders of the corpus callosum and get rid of the stigma surrounding it. “In the future, I plan to get more involved with NODCC by participating in fundraisers and other activities, “Veronika said. “I just want to make more people aware of ACC in any way that I can.”
This story is part of the Adults with DCC series that showcases the abilities and lives of real adults living with disorders of the corpus callosum. Students at The University of Texas at Arlington interviewed and wrote stories for this series.