By MC2 (SW) Kevin V. Cunningham
WRNMMC Command Communications
There are few things Army 1st Lt. Shauna Pearson enjoys more
than her life as a military doctor and competing as an endurance athlete, yet
she was willing to put that all on the line for a fellow Soldier.
In 2015, Pearson found out her roommate’s brother, Army Sgt.
Maj. Miguel Filipo, an active duty Soldier injured in Iraq, was in need of a
kidney. “My first reaction was, ‘I want to get tested; I want to help him
out,’” said Pearson.
At the time, Pearson was a full-time graduate student at the
University of North Carolina and officer in the Army Reserve. Should the
surgery go wrong, she risked not only her life as an avid runner, but her
military career as well.
The risks didn’t sway her. “This is what I wanted to do and
so I was going to do it,” said Pearson. “I feel like anyone in my position
would do the same. It was just the right thing to do.”
After a successful surgery, Pearson struggled with the
adjustment. “I was exhausted for three to four weeks and frustrated because I’m
such an active person. When I did start running again, it was difficult not
running as far and fast as I used to,” said Pearson. Once again, she was
determined to do what she wanted, and six months after surgery she ran the
After serving six years as an enlisted Soldier, Pearson said
the road to today has been long and unexpected.
She enlisted as a welder, explaining that coming from a
family who did construction work, welding was something that was familiar to
her. “That was really the only job I wanted to do when I went into the
recruiter’s office,” she explained.
Pearson later earned her commissioned in 2013. She graduated
with a doctorate in audiology and came to Walter Reed National Military Medical
Center in 2017.
“I love my job,” said Pearson. “Every single day I come to
work I’m so happy to be doing what I do.” As an audiologist, Pearson provides
service members support from hearing readiness to hearing exams.