Taking flight in a new career

One local woman turned a setback into a new purpose during the pandemic.
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Making a career change later in life is never “easy.” For Linda Hinsch, experiencing two health crises - one in the middle of the pandemic - turned out to be the very thing she needed to make that transition.

It all started back in 2016, when Hinsch began experiencing severe headaches. She was diagnosed with a meningioma. Thankfully, the brain tumor was not cancerous, but the surgery to remove it left Hinsch homebound for six months.

“Sometimes when you are put on your butt for a while, you just think about your life, and what kind of changes you need to make,” she recalled.

Four years later came a chronic cough doctors couldn’t explain. Linda finally went to the Cleveland Clinic, where she got the diagnosis of Carcinoid Syndrome of the lungs. That meant another surgery - and a lengthy recovery period in March of 2020 - just as the world shut down.

With all that time to do some serious soul-searching, Linda says one message became loud and clear.

“I need to learn more. I want to learn more. Where can I go? What can I do?” she said.

The answer crystallized as she volunteered at Nature’s Nursery, even fostering dozens of birds in her home. She decided to take a leap of faith and contact the Alaska Raptor Center. Everything fell together, and Hinsch was able to spend the month of August working hands-on with the birds of prey that have always fascinated her.

It was a dream come true. And now, she’s back in Northwest Ohio, eager to spread her wings - and some knowledge.

“I think we need to teach the younger generation about the beautiful world we live in, so they help to preserve it,” Hinsch said.

And she is on her way to fulfilling that dream; Linda tells us that since her return, she has already scored a job in the field she loves.

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