A closer walk
Cody King began his college career on the Hill in 2011 brimming with excitement
for what the future might bring.
“I knew that LaGrange was the place for me. Although the courses were demanding,
that’s what I needed because I want to be a veterinarian. I was ready for the challenge.”
But he wasn’t ready for what happened next.
“My mom was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma cancer in her heart. The tumor can’t
be surgically removed because of its location, and she can’t have radiation therapy.
The only thing she can do is chemotherapy. There is no chance it will go into remission.
My mom is my role model, my inspiration, my everything, so I just lost my focus.”
After struggling academically that semester, he chose to leave LaGrange and transfer
to Columbus State University so he could care for his mother in their home in Gay,
“I was able to stay home more with mom and still do my class work. It was what
I needed to do.”
When his mom’s condition began to improve, Cody mentioned he would like to return
“She really wanted me to come back. She said she didn’t want to hold me back from
what I wanted to do just because she is sick. College is very important to her
– I am the first one in the family to go to college.”
Cody returned with a new purpose and drive. He says his problem-solving class
has increased his thinking skills, allowing him to approach things differently
and not get frustrated if he doesn’t understand something.
“The professors here are so great because they honestly care about you as a person,
not just as a student. I can go to them if I need help with my studies, or just
to talk. Some of them know about my mom, and they are always checking on me and
Although the college’s nurturing atmosphere attracted him initially, Cody says
it is the Spiritual Life program that has meant the most.
“I want to strengthen my faith, and this is the place I can do that. Blair Tolbert
(Director of Student Ministries) has introduced me to all the activities here.
I am ecstatic about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes because I was an officer
in my high school’s FCA. There is so much here to help students grow in their faith.”
Cody has his eyes fixed firmly on the future. He says he always knew he wanted
to be a veterinarian.
“I grew up on a farm, and we always had horses, goats, wallabies, kangaroos, rabbits,
deer, dogs, cats – just the basics.”
The basics? Wallabies and kangaroos?
“We have an exotic animal license because we rehabilitate animals, like deer who
are hit by cars. We nurse them back to health. My sister wanted to raise something
nobody else had. We have a friend in Dublin, Ga., who has a kangaroo farm. He sends
us a baby; we raise it and send it back for breeding. And he’ll send us another
Cody says he’s always been known as the animal guy.
“I’m the one who pulls over to move turtles out of the road. If someone finds
a stray animal, they’ll bring it to me so I can find a new home for it. I
just love animals, and would dearly love to attend the vet school at Auburn University.”
He knows his path will not be easy, but his focus and faith bring him peace.
“I’m doing this for my mom. She wants me to finish college regardless of what
her future may be. And I want to make my connection to God better. I fully rely
on Him in this situation – I know He has a reason, even if I don’t understand it.
I want to strengthen my faith so He can comfort me and my family, and help us get