2013 L.I.F.E Scholarship Recipients

Antoinette Grimes- Mesa Community College, AZ

"Lupus took many precious things away from me: my husband, my Army career as an officer, and almost my life… I thought Lupus had taken everything from me… I decided that I was not going to let Lupus rule my life, I was going to win. I was ready to take on the challenge of my “new normal.” Lupus will never steal my joy, but I will use my Lupus to help others.”


Imani Rugless – University of Cincinnati, OH

"Lupus opened the door to determination, empathy, compassion, a love of science, and a drive to understand. Lupus has prepared me to become an amazing doctor. Hopefully, I can credit lupus with my future task to eliminate lupus forever."


Katie Alexander – Sam Houston State University, TX

"I know that I have a long fight ahead of me as my body just keeps reminding me. I will continue my struggle and live my life the best I can. I will also continue to pray every day for a cure for Lupus."


Elizabeth Yuen – San Francisco State University, CA

“Being diagnosed with lupus inspired my career goal… to become a pediatric rheumatologist…I believe that one of the best gifts I could share with my future patients is hope - hope that they are not alone, hope that the hard time will end, and hope that they will get through this dark period.”


Cynthia Spurgeon – University of Phoenix, FL

"If you were to ask me today how Lupus has affected my life, I would simply state that it was the stepping-stone for positive change in my life. It forced me to look at my life and make healthier, positive choices."


Bradley Phan –Orange Coast University, CA

“Living with lupus for 6 years has taught and molded me into the person I am today, a fighter… I learn that I live for today because Lupus has shown me that the only assurance I have is NOW. It is not about loving Lupus and being glad I got it. It's about milking the good out of all the bad that surrounds us."


Jena Trowbridge – University of Central Florida

“I have struggled with this disease, however Lupus will not have me, and I will not let it slow down my race for success… The 'load' of SLE has not broken me; I wake up ready to take on each day with Lupus as a warrior, a gladiator, a proud survivor."


Hannah Thomason– University of La Verne, CA

“All of the frustrations related to my health I now see as a strange kind of blessing, as they have led me toward a profession I feel uniquely suited for…. Investing my life in providing care, instruction and encouragement to individuals who have shared similar struggles is a way I can utilize my experience as a woman with Lupus to personally help make the world a better place.“


Whitney Hutchinson– South Dakota State University

“As I mature Lupus has made me understand that you need to live in the moment, because you never know what tomorrow might bring.  I learned that I need to appreciate all the little things in my life because they usually add up to the big moments.  I laugh harder, love more and give more of myself to the people who matter most to me.... I take life one day at a time and take head on what life has to give.  Lupus is what I have not who I am.”


Magdalene Quintero– University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

“Regardless of the scars on my fingers and toes, I don’t let my disease take over my entire life. I believe God gave me my challenges so I can help others. My experience of living with Lupus pushes me beyond my own endurance, because I know I will become a M.D., Ph.D. pediatric rheumatologist.”


Bethany Martinez – University of Central Florida

"Making the effort to push myself, in spite of my illness, started the momentum within me… I had emerged from my shell, and was not turning back. I chose to live every minute of my life… I openly share information about my illness, to help others realize that challenges can be overcome as long as your attitude remains positive and your conviction remains strong."


Frances Trosa- St. John's University - College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, NY

"Lupus is a very quiet disease... No one can look at me and see the pain I am in or the mental exhaustion I am fighting against...The least I can offer is what lupus has offered me - compassion and understanding."