Melanie Waldman, is a resident of Egg Harbor Township and a member of the EHTHS Class of ’09.
After graduating in 2013 from Rutgers University-New Brunswick as a double major with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media and theater. Waldman began a career in commercial television, film and advertising for KMR Talent and Gamut Management. She is also a yoga teacher.
Where she’s been and where she’s going, in her own words:
I had the pleasure of working at Walt Disney World with the Disney College Program. I loved my stay there. However, it wasn’t very long after moving to Florida that my life started to change dramatically. I worked hard at Disney and played and enjoyed the parks just as much. Basically I got too thin, pretty quickly, and started showing symptoms of chronic joint pain and exhaustion. A few months later, I was diagnosed with SLE lupus.
Unfortunately, my schedule with Disney was ultimately cut short when I was hospitalized with a blood clot in the artery in my right wrist, which cut off circulation to my hand. I then suffered from an extremely rare reaction to heparin known as TIH (heparin-induced thrombocytopenia). A few days later, my right forearm, just below the elbow, was amputated, as a result of this reaction.
Amputation was not a choice, but at that time I was suggested to live a happier life without my hand. Although, yes, I was right handed. To this day, I wouldn’t change that decision for a second. For me, I believe that my limb difference does not make me less than that, it only emphasizes my inner persistence.