Quest for knowledge: Spokane grandma defies odds to get an educa - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Quest for knowledge: Spokane grandma defies odds to get an education

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

As our Olympians continue their quest for the gold, a Spokane grandmother is continuing her quest for knowledge, proving you can do anything you set your mind to.

It's been a long journey for Tracy Ann Fejeran. She went blind later in life, suffered kidney failure and needed a transplant, and during her first year in college she had a massive heart attack. But none of that stopped her from her dream of getting an education.

 Most days you can find Fejeran studying at a small table in her kitchen. But unlike most students, she's doing it without being able to see. She lost her sight due to diabetic retinopathy. It's been a long road, but nothing was going to stop this inspiring woman.

Nearly a decade ago, she made the 6,000 mile trip to Spokane from the small island of Guam. Suffering from renal failure, and spending five years on dialysis, Tracy Ann was placed on a donor list where she could only wait and hope. Then, in 2014, she learned she would be getting a second chance at life.

She was determined to use that second chance to pursue her education. She did, but unfortunately tragedy struck again. During her first year at Spokane Falls Community College, Tracy Ann suffered a massive heart attack and needed bypass surgery to once again save her life.

With all her medical issues and everything she was going through, Tracy Ann's mom wanted her to quit so she could focus on her health. But she kept going.

Although she was unable to be on campus, she once again hit the books. As she slowly recovered at home. Finally she graduated.

But she's not done yet.Tracy Ann is currently a junior at Eastern Washington University, majoring in communications with a minor in disability studies. She's hoping to earn her bachelors degree next spring, then her Master's degree.

Through it all, her family, seeing how hard she worked and how much it meant to her, never lost faith.

It paid off in January with a surprise. Tracy Ann was honored with the Washington State Association of College Trustees "Transforming Lives Award" in Olympia. The award recognized her amazing accomplishments. She's one of just five students, chosen from nearly 400,000 at 34 different colleges.

Through it all, Tracy Ann has persevered. With all of the times she could have given up, she found the strength to carry on and achieve her dreams.

She's the first to graduate in her family and she hopes she can serve as an inspiration to its younger members. After she graduates, she's hoping to work in outreach and awareness in our community.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Retired Spokane Police captain seriously hurt in Costa Rica crash

    Retired Spokane Police captain seriously hurt in Costa Rica crash

    Monday, November 12 2018 10:31 PM EST2018-11-13 03:31:20 GMT
    Holly and Keith Cummings (Photo: GoFundMe)Holly and Keith Cummings (Photo: GoFundMe)

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A retired Spokane Police captain is fighting for his life in the hospital.   Keith Cummings and his wife Holly were on vacation in Costa Rica and got into a head-on crash with another truck on Friday. In an online fundraiser, their daughter, Rachel Durkin, said her mother is recovering in a hotel room with several facial fractures and a pelvic fracture.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A retired Spokane Police captain is fighting for his life in the hospital.   Keith Cummings and his wife Holly were on vacation in Costa Rica and got into a head-on crash with another truck on Friday. In an online fundraiser, their daughter, Rachel Durkin, said her mother is recovering in a hotel room with several facial fractures and a pelvic fracture.

    >>
  • What you need to know about Initiative 1639's "safe storage" restriction

    What you need to know about Initiative 1639's "safe storage" restriction

    Monday, November 12 2018 8:17 PM EST2018-11-13 01:17:30 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been nearly one week since Washington voters passed Initiative 1639, a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations - particularly for semiautomatic rifles. While the measure raises the minimum age to purchase semiautomatic rifles to 21, creates enhanced background checks, and forces customers to wait 10 days before taking possession of the firearm, I-1639 lays the framework for "safe storage" of semiautomatic rifles

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been nearly one week since Washington voters passed Initiative 1639, a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations - particularly for semiautomatic rifles. While the measure raises the minimum age to purchase semiautomatic rifles to 21, creates enhanced background checks, and forces customers to wait 10 days before taking possession of the firearm, I-1639 lays the framework for "safe storage" of semiautomatic rifles

    >>
  • Spokane Police arrest drunk drive-by shooting suspect

    Spokane Police arrest drunk drive-by shooting suspect

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 10:51 AM EST2018-11-13 15:51:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police arrested a 41-year-old man they say fired shots in downtown Spokane while driving drunk.  Officers were called to the area of Sprague and Browne at approximately 9:30 pm Monday for a report of multiple shots fired in the area. The first officers were on scene in less than a minute. A security officer in the area was able to provide a description of the suspect's SUV and a direction of travel. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police arrested a 41-year-old man they say fired shots in downtown Spokane while driving drunk.  Officers were called to the area of Sprague and Browne at approximately 9:30 pm Monday for a report of multiple shots fired in the area. The first officers were on scene in less than a minute. A security officer in the area was able to provide a description of the suspect's SUV and a direction of travel. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:32 PM EST2018-11-13 18:32:25 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>
  • More US kids get paralyzing illness, cause is still unknown

    More US kids get paralyzing illness, cause is still unknown

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:21 PM EST2018-11-13 18:21:23 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - More children have been diagnosed with a mysterious paralyzing illness, and U.S. health officials still aren't sure what's causing it.    Officials say this year's count could surpass the numbers seen in similar outbreaks in 2014 and 2016. Fortunately, the disease remains rare: This year, there have been 90 cases spread among 27 states.

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - More children have been diagnosed with a mysterious paralyzing illness, and U.S. health officials still aren't sure what's causing it.    Officials say this year's count could surpass the numbers seen in similar outbreaks in 2014 and 2016. Fortunately, the disease remains rare: This year, there have been 90 cases spread among 27 states.

    >>
  • Spokane man sentenced to nearly 4 year in prison for taking photo with gun in hotel room

    Spokane man sentenced to nearly 4 year in prison for taking photo with gun in hotel room

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:14 PM EST2018-11-13 18:14:27 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A 23-year-old man from Spokane was sentenced to 46 months in prison last Tuesday for unlawful possession of a firearm.  According to court records, on April 3, Donovan Gomez was carrying a gun at the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Casino Hotel. He wasn't allowed to have a gun because he had a 2017 felony conviction for stealing a car, and a 2018 felony conviction for second degree robbery. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A 23-year-old man from Spokane was sentenced to 46 months in prison last Tuesday for unlawful possession of a firearm.  According to court records, on April 3, Donovan Gomez was carrying a gun at the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Casino Hotel. He wasn't allowed to have a gun because he had a 2017 felony conviction for stealing a car, and a 2018 felony conviction for second degree robbery. 

    >>