This UNC grad student doesn’t let muscular dystrophy stop her

This UNC grad student doesn’t let muscular dystrophy stop her

Demi Deckoff was told she'd never attend college. Now, she's working through the public health graduate school program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Above: Demi Deckoff listens during class.

This broadcast piece was produced by Anne Marie Hagerty as part of Media Hub. See more about Media Hub below.

Demi Deckoff is a graduate student at UNC. She lives on her own and is working toward her master’s in public health.

And she does it all with muscular dystrophy.

Demi, who is originally from Alabama, was told by Alabama government officials she had no chance at attending a university. Demi did attend college — graduating with a 4.1 GPA — and moved to North Carolina to start graduate school.

She gets help for everyday things — making dinner, raising her hand in class, taking medicine — from personal aides. She’s had more than 100 personal aides since she arrived in Chapel Hill a year ago. Most of them have morphed from aide to friend.

As one friend puts it: “The only thing that Demi can’t do is move.”

Media Hub is a UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism course designed for students to produce professional, comprehensive and multi-platform news stories with interest for North Carolina audiences. Media Hub’s content has been picked up by news organizations throughout North Carolina since 2015. 

Pressley Baird

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