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That proved to be overwhelming and that’s when Busch’s mother, Mary Vaden, stepped in. Busch hesitantly returned her son to Texas. Vaden became a surrogate mother to her grandson.

Vaden explained, “It has been challenging for me at times. Both of my girls were full grown and had been out on their own for years.  So this was a big adjustment but I knew how much Joyce wanted it so we all buckled up and got ready for the ride.”

Joyce Busch

Busch received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills and an Associate’s degree in Logistic Management from Community College of the Air Force. The Desert Storm Air Force veteran has also completed Cottonwood School of Ministry in Los Alamitos, California.

During her time at RUSM she was awarded the Medical Student Professionalism and Service Award 2015 from the American College of Emergency Medicine. She’s received a Letter of Commendation for her Reflective Practice Journal presentation and a Letter of Participation in difficult interview skills from the Behavioral Science Department at RUSM. She served as the Student National Medical Association public relations representative and was a writer for the Rossed Daily, a student-run newspaper. In her spare time she believes in serving her community as a ‘big sister,’ volunteering at local food banks and healthcare clinics.

“Of course none of this has been easy and I couldn’t have done any of it without the support of my mother, sons and family; my father Eddie Haynes and his wife Cheryl. Most of all I give praise to God for giving me the courage and making a way for me to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor,” Busch added.

Follow Busch’s eight-year journey to becoming a medical doctor on her blog, A 40 Year Old Medical Student

Widow & Single Mother Triumphs On Journey As 40-Year-Old Med Student  was originally published on

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