College freshman Andrew Engel was diagnosed in 1995 with a malignant brain tumor, and after treatment was left without any short term memory. His doctors told him to forget about college, yet he never gave up. He made medical history in an experiment that taught how to store memory by reading things four or five times. Now, after studying at the University of Maryland in Baltimore for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, never missing a class, Andrew is graduating with a 4.0 average. (Listen to NPR interview)


  1. Yah!! Continuing on despite the negative talk. I almost quite school because of my negative self talk and thankfully enough I had many people around me to help. Now, I have a Master’s degree!!

  2. You are an inspiration!!

    And I am also grateful for the people that helped you shed the nonsense.

    I tell you something big, one of my purposes here in this life is to, by example, prove that a person can achieve anything with sheer will…

    (lucky, I have the ramming potential of the Aries sun sign!)

  3. I, too, am going back to college after brain surgery to remove a hemorrhaging benign tumor, and have the same short-term memory deficit. It’s inspiring to read about someone who made it through, as I have discouraging days. Thanks so much for this story, Geri, and thanks Andrew for the much-needed example you set for others like us!

  4. Wow, Renee. I never thought there would be someone who’s suffered and struggled (like the graduate) actually reading this and gaining inspiration. I thought it was just going to inspire the rest of us not to complain so much for our tiny problems..

    You keep going girl!

    I am living example that you can accomplish a lot just with the will to create!

Leave a Reply