Park Ridge resident leaves giant impression at Oakton
Park Ridge resident John "Jack" Timperley (Maine South High School) graduated from Oakton Community College with an associate in arts degree and participated in the college's commencement ceremony May 21.
Timperley may be small in stature due to a rare genetic condition, but his list of accomplishments at the college is gigantic.
During his time at Oakton, Timperley's endeavors included serving as student trustee, editor for the college's award-winning newspaper, student orientation leader and president of DECA, the competitive business team. He also was the master of ceremonies at the college's recent speaker showcase, a vehicle for students to present their public speaking talents.
Now that his educational chapter at Oakton has ended, he plans on transferring to Northeastern University this fall, where he plans to double major in philosophy and business administration. Timperley's long term goal is to teach philosophy at a university.
He acknowledges Oakton for making it possible to motivate himself toward his ambitious goals.
"Oakton allowed me to apply all that I learned to real-world situations. I'll always remember the warm atmosphere and the kind people at the college who wanted to help me succeed."
Timperley was born with an extremely rare genetic condition, Fanconi Anemia (FA), which afflicts fewer than 5,000 individuals in the world. His own body began to fight him the day he was born.
By the time he was 3, he had been subjected to four dozen anesthetic procedures and a bone marrow transplant, which included irradiation of his existing bone marrow. The treatment disrupted the growth plates in his bones, which meant he would grow more slowly than other children and stop growing sooner.
It also left him with a highly-compromised immune system, making him more susceptible to diseases of all kinds.
"When I was in fourth grade, I was mistaken for a first-grader, and today, although I'm now a college graduate, I'm the size of a 12-year-old and often mistaken for a child," Timperley explains.
"With FA, I don't know if I will be here tomorrow, so I want to enjoy every moment and accomplish what I can today."
Timperley remains confident about his abilities while maintaining a sense of humor about his situation. He drives a Mini Cooper with a booster seat and pedal extenders.
"Well, it's fitting because it's 'mini,'" he joked.
He recently started a new business, Timperley Consulting, where he conducts research on family genealogy and creates family trees. His goals outside of college are just as ambitious.
Armed with a business card that reads "Life Coach and Motivational Speaker," he already has done some public speaking and is interested in pursuing life coaching opportunities.
"When you accept yourself, others will accept you," he says.