This I Believe : Johanna Fleischman

I believe that anyone can accomplish anything. Nothing can limit me except myself.

I can be the first female president. I can be a famous pastry chef. I can be the first person to walk on Mars. However, I want to find the cure for diabetes.


I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age eleven, and my younger sister was diagnosed four years later at age thirteen. Luckily, my sister and I were able to acquire insulin pumps shortly after our diagnoses, and I soon became fascinated by the technology of the pump. This is what inspired me to make a positive impact in the field of medical research and medical technology.

I believe that the value of a person is not based solely on academic accomplishments, but is determined by using those accomplishments to serve others. In line with this belief that leaders should initiate action with an altruistic motivation, my purpose for pursuing my dream is to positively impact the lives of others. Instead of earning a college degree without purpose or with only the goal of making money, I am pursuing my mission so that others do not have to be challenged by the burdens I was. By working in the field of biomedical engineering, I can also give back to this field that has eased my life of diabetes through technology and research.

For years, I thought that the only way to express love was through touchy, emotional, gushy words and actions. As a logical, scientific person, I strove endlessly to act more emotive, but it was difficult to make my actions sincere. My life changed when a philosophy professor I admire told me that intellect is an expression of love. Truth has an incredible component of love inside it. For me, answering people’s questions, giving them advice, and being a patient and understanding listener is my expression of love. Knowing that I can use my analytical, mathematical mind to give love to the world is a comfort.

I firmly believe that God gave me these strengths so that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to; if I strive toward my big goals in little ways everyday, then each moment is an accomplishment I can be proud of.