Marilyn Kallman Heathman began attending NMSU in 1969, and was diagnosed with malignant breast cancer in 1972. She is believed to be the first lumpectomy patient at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Although radiated at 100 times the level currently prescribed, Marilyn only missed one semester and was graduated by NMSU with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in January 1974. In 1975, she completed her M.Ed. degree in Deaf Education at the University of Arizona, and in 1981 she was certified as a sex therapist (disabilities) by the University of California.
From 1975 through 1981, Marilyn worked as a certified teacher of the deaf at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind and at the California School for the Deaf. In 1982, Marilyn married and, over the ensuing 6 years, gave birth to three sons. In 1990, Marilyn was again diagnosed with malignant breast cancer and underwent extensive chemotherapy treatment causing heart damage. In 1998, Marilyn returned to teaching Special Ed. students in schools around Houston, Texas, and continued teaching until being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006. She holds multiple teaching certifications in the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. She has written articles that appeared in national publications, she has been featured in “Parenting” magazine, and she has appeared in Houston television to discuss her current fight against Alzheimer’s. This scholarship has been funded in honor of her continuous battle against long odds to enjoy a meaningful and productive life.
Financial Need: Required
Class Level: FR. SO. JR. SR.
Required Minimum GPA: 2.5
Required Major: SPED/CD
Required Residency: AZ or NM
Other requirements: Given to hearing-impaired students.