Edmonds-Woodway senior Abby Culver will be attending Washington State University in the fall and plans to pursue kinesiology and sports medicine. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

A health scare sparked her interest in sports medicine field

Abby Culver, 18, has been a student trainer for sports teams at Edmonds-Woodway High School. After being treated for a brain tumor, she decided to pursue an interest in sports medicine. She will begin classes at Washington State University in August.

Question: What’s your role with the sports teams?

Answer: Student trainer. Football for three years, basketball for the last two years.

I did boys soccer my sophomore and junior years. And I went to state with boys soccer last year and girls basketball last year. This year, I went to playoffs with boys basketball.

Q: What got you interested in sports training?

A: Sports medicine is something I’ve done for the last three years. I loved the atmosphere of football games, knowing I can make a difference, seeing players who are injured, watching them rehabilitate, and seeing them able to play again and be successful.

Q: Was there some specific thing that drew you to sports training?

A: When I was a freshman in March of 2014 I found out I had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball or plum growing in my brain. That was pretty scary and random. I had a lot of headaches, small seizures and migraines closer to the diagnosis. I got a MRI and they told me to go to the emergency room immediately.

Q: Did you have to have an operation?

A: Yes. I had operation and they removed it. It hasn’t come back. They said I was born with it and it grew really slowly for years and years. That experience made me a lot more interested in medicine. It gave me an appreciation for health care and health care professionals.

Q: Did that influence the classes you took?

A: The next year I took sports medicine. I wanted to be one of those people who helped people like my doctors and nurses helped me.

Q: What’s your GPA?

A: 3.99. I’ve always really liked school and getting good grades and learning has been really important to me.

Q: What Running Start classes have you taken at Edmonds Community College?

A: English, psychology, medical terminology, art appreciation, personal finance, African-American History and Pacific Northwest History.

Q: Can you tell me about the award you recently won at the school district’s Scholar-Athlete Banquet?

A: It was a $3,000 scholarship.

Q: How did you become interested in attending Washington State University?

A: Well it’s kind of a funny story. I’m totally a planner. So two to three years ago, I started making lists of colleges. WSU was not on any of them. Then I actually started looking at the schools. Most didn’t have the programs that I want. I’m going to study kinesiology or sports science.

My mom finally convinced me to go visit WSU. I visited last April and really liked It. It’s a beautiful campus. The sense of community there really drew me in and their athletic facilities for what I would be doing, sports medicine. They have great athletic training rooms.

Q: You said you’re a planner. WSU starts in mid-August. Are you already packed?

A: No, but I’ve got a list. I’ve begun planning a little bit and making a list of things I’ll need in my dorm.

Q: Will you need a master’s degree to pursue your future job goals?

A: I know the field. I’m not sure of the career. I want to do something in medicine, more specifically sports medicine. I don’t have a specific job.

With kinesiology I can do a strength and conditioning minor to still work with athletes. I can keep my options open that way and explore some different interests I have in sports medicine.

I have four years to figure it out.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

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