LeAnn Shannon

Commencement: Spring 2015, Ceremony 4

Degree: Doctor of Medicine

Graduate of: FIU, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

As an infant, LeAnn Shannon suffered a spinal cord injury that robbed her of her ability to walk.  In spite of this tragedy, LeAnn triumphed.  At age 11, she became the youngest professional wheelchair racer, and two years later, competed in the wheelchair exhibition event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In the same year, LeAnn competed in the Paralympic Games, where she won three gold medals, a silver medal and broke two world records.

Eventually, with the same spirit of determination, LeAnn entered the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.  She is a multiple scholarship recipient, served as the director of Medical Students Working to Improve Society and Health and excelled as the program director of the Mammography Art Initiative, raising more than $10,000 to provide mammograms for women in underserved populations.

LeAnn is the first in her family to graduate with a Doctor of Medicine Degree.  She is most grateful for her husband of more than ten years, Michael, and their two children –Noah, age 2, and infant daughter, Zelda, both born while LeAnn was in medical school.

LeAnn also thanks Drs. Pat O’Leary and Sanford Markham for their invaluable encouragement and support.  After graduation, LeAnn plans to complete her surgical internship and radiology residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  Her motto in life:  “No matter what comes up, always take stock of the situation and move forward as best as possible.”