Be Excellent: Morgan Cadena

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 8:29 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - From board games to puzzles, Morgan Cadena uses every tool in the book to help her young patients.

“Most of my day is sitting on the floor playing with blocks, playdough, and bubbles,” Cadena explains.

She is a Co-Owner and Speech Therapist at MoJo Speech Therapy in Odessa.

Day in and day out, Cadena alongside her business partner and fellow Speech Therapist Joni Kouba spends time with each of their patients.

The two friends have known each other for a long time and have had a dream of opening up a clinic together. Two years ago that dream became a reality.

“I’m lucky, I’m blessed, that she is a friend that, you know, God put us together as partners and we’ve kind of just gone from there,” said Kouba.

A thriving clinic serves many patients some with a mild speech impediment to others on the spectrum, which Morgan is no stranger to.

“I have one kid on the spectrum, and I have one kiddo with a chromosomal deletion disorder called 22q 11.2 Deletion Syndrome,” said Cadena.

She has turned those challenges into an advantage, allowing her to more deeply connect with the family of patients on the spectrum.

“I understand their journey and how hard it is. All the mix of emotions that they’re going through and what they have gone through. So, coming to someone who gets it is really important,” Cadena explains.

Kouba, who also has a child with special needs, sees those connections made firsthand.

“She really is as genuine as she comes off. She cares about the patients, you’ll see her praying in the front with people sometimes,” said Kouba.

That personal touch is what makes all the difference.

Cadena says the best part is seeing the progress her patients make.

“That’s a pretty cool thing to know that you’ve been a big part of that. We’ve brought them from severely unintelligible where next to nobody could understand them. Now they’re typical, they’re age-appropriate, they’re doing fine in school. Their teachers, peers, and family understand them. That’s a big deal,” said Cadena.

That drive is how Cadena can balance caring for her patients as well as her own children.

“It’s just her engrained passion. It’s a God passion that she has. I think that she’s just fulfilling her work in life. This is her calling; this is what she’s meant to do. This is what God placed on her heart and she does it well,” said Kouba.

Morgan Cadena wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I am grateful for the people that have helped us along the way. I’m grateful for the journey, as odd as it sounds. I’ve learned a lot. It’s had some really hard turns through it. In retrospect, it’s made us stronger, it’s definitely shaped my career path,” Cadena explains.