2015 L.I.F.E Scholarship Recipients
Alexandra White- University of Arkansas, Fayettville (L.I.F.E. Awareness Award, Sponsored, Anonymous Individual)
“Without any former knowledge of the disease, I was forced to immediately adjust my lifestyle to its consequences. I suffered physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Though the physical and emotional aspects have taken their toll, I fear the intellectual struggle has the potential to have the most pervasive impact.”
Alexis Stanciel- Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
“At one point in time I considered this a setback, I was wrong; it hasn’t set me back at all. This illness has been my biggest motivator, pushing me to prove that there's light at the end of the tunnel. I do not consider myself a victim, I am Alexis Stanciel, and I am better and more empowered than ever"
Anissa Lee Hang- Hawaii Pacific University (Sponsored, Mr. Kris N. Nakagawa via Sjogren's and Lupus Foundation of Hawaii)
“I’m majoring in pre-medicine because I hope to one day be able to help other people with lupus in ways that only another lupus patient can. Tomorrow, I want someone to hear my story and for me to be the reason they have the strength to never give up.”
Annelise Sprau- Ohio State University
"I believe that I am more understanding and grateful of all that life has given me and cognizant that anyone can have a disease or struggle, we just might not see it."
Christin Weston- Austin Peay State University, TN
"A simple trip to the waterpark could leave me in bed for a week so I consciously decide to make each day count"
Devin Cowan- University of Central Florida
"Through my struggles, I've found a strength in me that I never knew existed. I won't stop. I can't stop until I achieve all of my life goals. Neither lupus, nor any other ailment or roadblock, will stand in the way of this. If not for lupus, who knows where I'd be today?"
Haley Hahn- University of Illinois- Urbana Champagne (Sponsored, Anonymous Individual)
“Lupus is definitely complicated, confusing, and most certainly unique. We all have different effects from of the disease. Some have it worse than others , but we all deal with the mystery and surprises it always seems to bring.”
Haylee Hinton- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
“Making up for lost time has been the most stressful aspect of coping, but I give it my best every day. In five semesters, I brought a 1.5 cumulative GPA up to a 3.11. I have plans to push it further. I want at least a 3.5 before I graduate.”
J’Andrique Taylor- Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge (Sponsored, Anonymous Individual)
"I isolated myself because I did not want to see others do what I could not. I did not see any useful purpose to my existence, but I soon realized that I am not the only person with Lupus. I could still be the person I wanted to be because I was the person I was before my diagnosis."
Julia Ann Walker- San Francisco State University, CA
"Being diagnosed with lupus nephritis taught me that with an unbreakable faith and the desire to fight I could overcome almost anything that is thrown my way."
Kelsey Dickinson- University of Denver, CO (Sponsored, Fisheye Consulting)
"I gave myself time and patience, but I would not give up...I found strength within myself and regained the self confidence that I had lost. I had the power to reach higher than my lupus."
Kyrsten Freyou- Northwestern State University, LA
“Like a phoenix, I embrace each day and rise from the fire and ash so that I may soar to new heights throughout my life with lupus”
Kyran Palmer- Brigham Young University, ID (Sponsored, Anonymous Individual)
“I have become keenly aware of my blessings and how my friends, family, and community have supported me. I have had to learn to be patient in attaining goals and even though it will be a challenge above and beyond normal, I am committed to my goal of attending BYU where I will study architectural design.”
Louisa Goss- Williams College, MA
“The stereotypical expectation of being physically weaker than before my illness made me determined to exceed it. By the end of my freshman year my lupus had gone into remission, I was off dialysis, I was running again and although I was still on medications, I have proved to myself that I was still a hard-working student.”
Megan Roberts- Endicott College, MA (Sponsored, Anonymous Individual)
“I believe that my story can help those who feel that their disability holds them back, as I had once thought. I want others to know that even with lupus, you can still work hard and achieve as long as you believe in yourself and not let the opinions of others hold you back from your goals.”
Rebecca Mighell- University of Oklahoma (Sponsored, Jean Bassett)
“Even though fatigue continues to be a factor in my everyday life, throughout high school, I have striven to balance a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, performing in shows at professional and community theatres. I have always wanted to pursue musical theatre, and while I know that lupus will make this challenging, I am determined to work toward fulfilling this dream, and not let my disease stand in the way.”
Samuel Wood- University of New England, ME (L.I.F.E. Awareness Award, Sponsored, Anonymous Individual)
“My experience with SLE changed my life and the lives of my friends and family forever. It taught me to face my own mortality, view life as a gift, and to never be afraid to pursue my passions. “
Tam Ann Vu- University of St. Thomas, TX (Sponsored, Dr. I)
“Having lupus has taught me how to keep courage and self-motivation, balance moderation with perseverance, accept rejection, and have humility in success. Though it may be considered a disability, it has shown me that I can actually do more than the average ‘healthy’ person can.
Taylor Pierce- University of California, Davis
“Although my life is anything but conventional, I make it work because it is the only one I have. I am strong everyday because i know what it feels like to feel weak. I am fearless because I know what it is like to live in fear, but most of all, I stay positive because I know what its like to have negative thoughts take over my life”
Tiffany White- University of Memphis, TN
“I could either let lupus control my life or take the hand God has dealt me and become a powerful and strong woman that lets nothing bring her down. I chose to be in the driver's seat of my life and let lupus be the passenger.”
Ewodaghe Harrell- Brown University, RI (Sponsored, Anonymous Individual)
"My battle with lupus has taught me three distinct lessons: I am capable of overcoming adversity; a disability does not erase one's ability to pursue their aspirations; and helping others through advocacy and awareness truly makes a difference."
Abigail Saucedo- University of Texas, Arlington
“I realized how weak and vulnerable I really was, both physically and mentally. Being diagnosed with lupus made me fall into an abyss without any visible way out. Time heals all wounds, and as time passed I started seeing stairs leading out of the abyss. Something inside me insisted on change for my family, for my friends, and for myself.”