Dystonia Doesn't Slow Grapevine Woman's Drive

Woman overcomes disorder to earn post grad degree

By Kim Fischer
|  Friday, May 7, 2010  |  Updated 5:30 PM CDT
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Dystonia Doesn't Slow Grapevine Woman's Drive

NBCDFW.com

Melissa Mullins grew up with a neurological disorder, next week, she's getting her master's degree from UNT.

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Dystonia Doesn't Slow Grapevine Woman's Drive

Don't quit; words to live by for a North Texas woman.
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Don't quit; words to live by for a North Texas woman.

Melissa Mullins proved no obstacle could get in the way of her achieving her goal after growing up with the neurological disorder dystonia. Next week she's getting her master's degree in developmental studies.

“I wanted to help other children who have difficulties in school overcome their issues," said Melissa

Mullins is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. Her mother said she’s been doing it since she was 9.

"In between second grade and third grade, all the sudden she couldn't write, she couldn't even hold the pencil correctly," said Anita Mullins, Melissa's mother.

Dystonia causes muscle spasms and affects speech and motor skills.

“I remember kids teasing me because I wasn't able to communicate properly," said Melissa

Mullins had to undergo several surgeries to keep the disorder under control, but she never took her focus off school. From high school, Melissa went to TCC, then UNT. On May 14, Mullins will be able to add a masters diploma to her collection.

"Oh, I can't wait! I'll have the Kleenex with me," said Anita.

But Melissa said she couldn't have done it without her friends, teachers, and family. Especially her mom, who she describes as "amazing."

Anita would take Melissa to school every day and would wait for her daughter to finish her classes. She says this journey with her daughter was a long one, but it was more than worthwhile.

"The days that are difficult, you don't really look at those. You look at the days that are just like today, very inspirational," said Anita.

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