I met Kyle a little over 14 years ago. I was living in Nebraska and he in Indiana and two sisters with the last name of “Angel” (Ironic isn’t it!) decided that Kyle and I were meant to be. I, however, thought that living states away with both of us in professional school was overly non-convenient, but she insisted that I send him an email. I did. And that’s how it all got started.
This was the age before smart phones people… Kyle didn’t even have an old fashion flip phone! So we would spend hours on landline phone calls and on every call he would tell me about studying for boards. At that time, boards were taken in August and students would blow up their libraries, apartments, backpacks, and coffee shops with class notes, books, with the hope that they were spending the right time on the right things. Kyle was in that mix.
Our relationship was in the thick of NBEO from the very beginning! Kyle decided that he would take boards and then drive out to Nebraska for the first time to see me. Talk about a stressful weekend! (And probably not the best weekend to meet a new girl). But boards was over. We finally met. Time to move on with our very new relationship… which was still long distance. Problem. So Kyle began to tutor students for plane fare and he loved it. He loved the way that he could connect the dots for the students and they felt more confident in their courses. (And of course now he could afford a plane ticket!)
In February I went to see Kyle after I had passed my own boards to practice medicine and he proposed. (Yes, math people that was only 7 months of long distance dating!) We decided to get married at his first break in rotations on November 6, 2005. He continued to tutor some students over the next board season and they all did great! And that, led to a big request. Tutor a bunch of students… almost the entire class at IU for boards in 2005. Our initial thought was “No, we are done with boards!” But then we realized that Kyle loves teaching, I have a heart for college students and general medicine, and Kyle’s brilliant best friend Kevin could dominate Optics with his eyes closed. It seemed that we had the perfect team to actually come up with a resource that could help students pass boards.
Kyle and I got married, finally lived in the same state, and the minute we got home from our honeymoon, Kyle said “Let’s start our book!” Really Kyle Cheatham! Not what a brand new bride wants to hear when she gets off the plane from her honeymoon!
We worked so hard on that first edition! (Which we don’t even count as a real edition because it was fairly awful!) We went to Indiana for Kyle’s graduation and put on our very first KMK course. (KMK standing for Kyle, Melissa and Kevin. Or Kevin, Melissa and Kyle… the verdict is still out.) It was so fun, exhausting, and something we realized that we had a passion for. That class had one of the highest percentage of board passage rate in the country and we felt as though this was something that God was calling us to continue. And so here we are. Still loving connecting with and teaching students. Still trying to make it better for the next future O.D. to come.
Happy Anniversary to my baby.
Happy Anniversary KMK.
Melissa graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies before receiving her Master’s in Physician’s Assistant Studies from University of Nebraska Medical Center.