Rachel Geenen

senior picture of Rachel Geenen

Hello everyone! My name is Rachel Geenen and I am a freshmen at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UW-L).  I'm a pre-med student, and I am majoring in Biology with a Biomedical concentration and have a double minor in Chemistry and Spanish.  Even though I love the arts programs (since throughout my life I've been involved in theater, drama, forensics, debate, piano, guitar, and dance) I've always felt that something in the science related field was my true calling. 

I was born with an eye condition that is called a nystagmus.  This is a neurological problem caused by ocular albinism in which my eyes continuously move horizontally back and forth, sometimes (i.e. when I'm tired) more noticeably than usual.  This eye condition caused my vision to be extremely poor, so bad in fact, that I wasn't able to get a driver's license. 

Fortunately, when I was in eighth grade my family heard about a new surgery that was still being experimented with at the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The morning after my surgery my vision went from 20/70 with both eyes to some letters on the 20/30 line.  This was a huge moment in my life because it meant that I would be able to actually drive a car!

Ever since I had the surgery, I have completely fallen in love with the field of ophthalmology, also known as eye surgery.  It not only changed my life physically from the surgery through my improved vision, but I also gained an interest for these types of surgeries since I was part of their research and had to go back for a couple years for them to study my eye condition.  In fact, it was extremely ironic that I chose to do my webpage on saffron because while I was in the process of researching this fascinating organism, I found out that saffron is currently thought to help with retina problems such as macula lutea.

In addition, I have a real passion for the Spanish language and culture, which is why I am minoring in Spanish as well.  I am hoping to study abroad spring semester of 2013.  This is one of the reasons why I chose to make my webpage about saffron, since saffron is so frequently used in Spanish cuisine like paella. 

My goals for the future are not only to study abroad next year--an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life--but also to go to medical school and become an ophthalmologist. I can't wait to one day make a difference in other children's lives the same way my eye surgeon, Dr. Richard Hertle, did for me!


If you have any comments or questions about anything on this webpage, feel free to email me at geenen.rach@uwlax.edu.


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