Medical student has endured so much - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
finish your ferris degree in lansing - ferris state university

Medical student has endured so much

Student feature photo

Sara Preinitz, 30, is an LCC transfer studies major who plans to attend a university to obtain her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles             
Editor in Chief

Many first-semester college students realize their passions at LCC, but some enroll already having a firm grasp on what they want to do. For LCC Student Sara Preinitz, the path couldn’t be clearer.

“My goal is to go to medical school,” she said.

Preinitz, 30, is currently a transfer studies major who plans to attend a university to obtain her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with double minors in anthropology or psychology.

She said this was her second try at a higher education. Her first stint was at Front Range Community College in Colorado during the spring of 2020. So, like everything else, it was ruined by the pandemic.

“The first time did not go well,” she said through a laugh.

She said she was born in Evanston, Ill., but moved to Wisconsin at 6, where she would stay until age 22.

As she recalled her time in the Wisconsin, her face became full of sadness. She said she hated the state’s school systems and confessed she was bullied relentlessly.

The resulting anxiety and depression were hard to handle, but she said it was not the greatest barrier she had to climb past.

“I have May-Thurner syndrome,” Preinitz said. “It’s a very underdiagnosed, under-researched syndrome that only affects women.”

May-Thurner syndrome is an extremely rare vascular condition that usually only affects one vein in the pelvis. However, Preinitz is extremely unlucky and experiences a compression of both iliac veins.

“It means that there is a lot of blood refluxing into my pelvis,” she said. “I also have an increased risk of blood clots and I had to get two stints placed as a young woman.”

Although her health has always been somewhat of a question mark, she explained that her desperation to escape a life of confinement was enough to push her past any and all limitations.

So, at 22, she packed everything in her car and headed to Boulder, Colo.

Once there, she quickly rose in the ranks and become an influential community member, a political volunteer for the now-mayor and a business owner.

“I helped with writing speeches a lot,” she said. “I also helped create policies the mayor would speak on in debates, which were very frequent. I was working about 100 hours a week at that point because I was also a full-time barista and partial owner of the ‘Trident Café and Bookstore.’”

She accomplished a lot but she said she is most grateful for a girl she met in the café, Hanna DeSalvo, who quickly became her best friend.

“As far as people in my life, she is probably my biggest inspiration,” Preinitz said. “Part of that is we both bond over having pretty crippling, chronic illnesses.”

DeSalvo said she loved Preinitz after the first night shift they worked together. She describes Preinitz as a fierce friend and emphasized that they have been through a LOT together.

As an example, she recounted the time they both drove into a natural disaster zone to save a cat.

“There was a day where there was a fire outside of Boulder,” DeSalvo said. “I was cat sitting for my cousin and the fire was very close to my cousin’s house, so Sara drove with me into the fire, against the wind, under a red sky to go save this cat.

“The cops tried to make us turn around and I just ignored them.”

DeSalvo said she is constantly impressed by her best friend’s curiosity and willingness to change.

Preinitz said, to her, it is the only way to be, because if there was one thing she has learned from her travels, it is exactly how close-minded America really is.

Preinitz would also like it on the record that she hates Wednesdays, loves bluebirds and, at one point, lived out of her car on less than $5,000 a year and loved it.

It gave her a mantra that she was kind enough to share:

“Don’t be afraid to make personal sacrifices to maintain your independence.”



Looking for housing? Visit the official lcc off-campus housing website! Visit
finish your ferris degree in lansing - ferris state university
Back to top