NORFOLK, Va. – Curtis Worsley is out here to prove that anyone can chase their dream and graduate college at any age.
The 36-year-old ECPI graduate walked across the stage on May 17, surrounded by family and loved ones, and now he wants to open a bakery.
“We will have couples' nights where they can come and bake together; senior citizen nights where they can come and bake cakes; children can come and do cookies,” said Worsley, dreaming of his new place.
What you might not see behind this smile and bubbly personality is a life of trials and challenges, any one of which could have broken Worlsey’s spirit. He even admitted back in 2007 when he had been wheelchair-bound for two years, “I think I was at my lowest low to the point where I gave up my life."
But Worsley said his mother was there pushing him.
Enlisting in the army in 2000, Worlsey told News 3 he quickly climbed the ranks and planned to make a career out of the military until an IED overseas injured his spine, paralyzing him for two years.
In 2007, he had spinal surgery and after months of therapy, Worsley was walking by 2008. At the time of the surgery doctors found bone cancer, which Worsley beat.
Today he battles liver cancer, for which he said he does radiation once a month. After looking back at how far he has already come, his support system knew he deserved to chase a dream while battling cancer.
His fiancé called around to culinary programs in the area, and when Worsley got a call from ECPI, he was shocked.
“I’m like, 'I did not call anyone,' but he had called every culinary program in this area setting appointments for me.”
Worsley said stepping foot on the ECPI Culinary Arts Institute campus just felt right. He now bakes and dances around the kitchen with a grin from ear to ear, knowing his life has just begun.
“Pursue your dreams because they can happen at any age,” said Worsley as he told us his plan is to open a bakery here in Hampton Roads with some of his classmates.