At the age of 9, Quigz Quigley was diagnosed with both ADHD (Attention Defecit Hyper Disorder) and a fully coded learning disability, which she best describes as “…not being stupid, but learning in a different way”. Faced with daily challenges, she makes the best of what she has with decisions and duties, and refuses to let her disabilities be obstacles in any way.

When Quigz was only 13 years old, her mother, an R.N. at Cambridge Medical ICU, was diagnosed with renal cancer. Her mother, Veronika, was the only family member who knew about and helped educators with Quigz’ learning challenges. By the time Quigz turned 14 – a challenging period for any young girl – her mother passed away and she felt lost. Her support system evaporated because no one in her family knew about her disabilities, and she began to fend for herself.

She left everyone behind during her sophomore year of high school, found her own place to live, and raised herself. She briefly quit school to support herself – work,  pay rent, and get her LNA nursing license – but quickly put herself in both night and summer school, and returned to her education during her junior year. She graduated with her original classmates.

At the age of 18, Quigz was diagnosed with Stage II Endometriosis – something she continues to overcome today – and she began motivational speaking to youth.  Quigz has given presentations as a motivational speaker for at-risk youth at least once a year since 2005, and she is not only a firm believer but living proof that even the most at-risk children can overcome a difficult situation and not fall through the cracks.

Not only has Quigz become an LNA, an EMT and a successful radio personality, she is also a Firefighter III. Encouraged by her local chief to become a figurehead for strong female firefighters, to not give up when faced with misogyny, and to know what to do when encountering such behavior, Quigz is developing a statewide Diversity Program to support and encourage more females to join the service in a state where only 1% of all firefighters are female.

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