Elon Law student Ragan Riddle is determined to succeed in her fight against cancer and to illustrate a life of joy, a February 21 Times-News article reports.
“I believe in choosing joy,” Riddle says in the Times-News about her response to a second cancer diagnosis in 2015. “Everyone is in a different place, but it was never an option for me to be negative. I knew it was the only way I was going to get through it.”
Riddle’s doctor, Timothy Finnegan, an oncologist at Cone Health Cancer Center at Alamance Regional Medical Center, says her determination is remarkable.
“I get remarkable stories every day,” Finnegan said, “but given her age and what she was able to accomplish through all of this, really without ever missing a beat … you just don’t hear that, ever.”
The Times-News notes that Riddle successfully beat a first diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma while an undergraduate at Wingate University, maintaining a 4.0 GPA while undergoing chemotherapy. At Elon Law, even with a rare recurrence of cancer diagnosed in September, Riddle committed herself to continuing classes while undergoing an aggressive course of chemotherapy.
“When classed began Jan. 19, Riddle was there – and still at the top of her class,” the Times-News reports.
“Ragan is inspiring all of us at the law school,” said Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman. “We’re all proud of her determination. She’s a talented and gifted student who is bringing people together with her concern for justice and fairness. At a time when we hear a lot of negatives, I’m reassured about humanity when I see what Ragan is accomplishing and how her fellow students and the law school community rally to her side.”
In the summer of 2015, Riddle interned with Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and with Justice Paul M. Newby, North Carolina Supreme Court. At Elon Law, Riddle is a Leadership Fellow, student mentor, treasurer of the Women’s Law Association, Student Bar Association representative for second-year law students and a Lawyer on the Line representative. The Times-News reports that Riddle is considering an internship in criminal defense this summer and exploring an array of career options including work to assist non-profits.
“I want to make people question, ‘How can she have such joy?” Riddle says. “Through that can come a really interesting, life-changing conversation.”