Hometown Heroes - Michael Carmouche

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 4:00 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Students at McNeese State University experienced challenges during the pandemic and after the 2020 hurricanes. Imagine going through all that with Muscular Dystrophy. This time last year, Michael Carmouche was graduating from McNeese State University with a Criminal Justice degree. It was the end of a long journey, through the pandemic and Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

“We lost a house, we basically lost everything,” recalled Carmouche. “We had some stuff saved, thankfully, that didn’t get ruined. We just had to toss out a bunch of stuff. They just kicked us out because they wanted to remodel the building. I understood. Just bouncing from hotel to hotel.”

Michael has muscular dystrophy, which causes intense pain and limitations. Michael says he got through that difficult period with help from Tim Delaney, director of accessibility services at McNeese.

“When Michael contacted me in a little hotel room and had internet problems,” said Delaney. “The teacher wanted everyone on camera. He was in a situation where the only place he could actually have quiet or even the internet, was in the bathroom.”

To avoid any embarrassment, Delaney got approval from Michael’s professors to turn off his camera.

“I really just wanted to prove I could do my degree,” said Carmouche. “I really wanted to prove to myself that you can overcome stuff, you know, adversity.”

Delaney says his office puts students with physical difficulties...on a level playing field.

“He’s a survivor,” said Delaney.” A lot of people in his position would have given up. I probably would have given up. I’ve very proud of him. I think his future’s very bright.”

“If you can just keep going until the next day,” said Carmouche, after being asked how he handles MD. “Eventually I feel like you’re going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re gonna find the path. If you really want it and you drive yourself, no matter what difficulty, you can make it.”

Carmouche is now working towards his Master’s degree at McNeese, with hopes of going on to law school to become an attorney.

For information on the McNeese Office of Accessibility Services, call 337-475-5916.