Lighting Up the Pathway to Dreams: Helping Students Amidst CIDP

Tally Hart joined Ohio State as the financial aid director in 1996 and in her decade-long stay in that position, she helped countless of hopeful students go to college. In 2006, however, she was forced to shift to another job at the university due to an impending blindness. Through some stroke of miracle, Hart’s vision improved significantly. But three years later, another debilitating challenge came her way.

Hart first noticed something was wrong when she could not board a van on a trip to Chicago. In the days that followed, she felt more numbness on her feet and then her hands. Then the diagnosis for CIDP came. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) attacks nerve linings in the body’s extremities, causing pain and difficulty in movement. In Hart’s case, CIDP attacks the nerves themselves.

Now aged 63, Hart may have to say good bye to full-time work but that does not mean she is saying goodbye to helping students. It has always been her passion to help out students who want to make a bright future for themselves and their family. For the past decade, Hart has made the huge difference to the lives of countless of underprivileged students.

Ohio State University’s President, E. Gordon Gee, acknowledges the floodgates of opportunities that Hart has opened for aspiring students. Having worked so hard to get many of them into college, Gee calls her an angel and her work, an inspiration. Around 25% of Students in the school today are first-generation college students and Hart played a big part in lighting up the pathway to their dreams.

Hart’s mother had an opportunity to go to college but she forego of it in order to work in a factory and send money to keep the family farm going. So when it was Hart’s turn to go to college, it was something that the mother and daughter did not think twice about.

Now, Hart would not let any student’s dream be deferred from them because of poverty. As the financial aid director, she increased the funds available for students and shortened the time that students would have to wait for aid to come.

Currently, Hart is campaigning for the children of immigrants with the Dream Act, which grants citizenship to children brought to the country illegally if they finish college or serve in the military.

Hart will not leave Ohio State entirely amidst her battle with CIDP. She will turn to teaching and keep helping students as she has always done.