Tucson Lifestyle Magazine’s November 2015 Issue features an article entitled “Tracking a Medical Mystery”. The article describes the elusive nature of lupus and presents the disease from three points of view: the patient, the physician, and the President of the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona. L.I.F.E President and Co-Founder, Jodi Norton, offers the point of view of the patient. She describes her journey living with lupus from when she first began experiencing symptoms 24 years ago. She also offers advice for others living with a chronic illness, stating “if I had to give anyone experiencing chronic illness advice, I would say be your own advocate”.
This year, L.I.F.E was able to award Scholarships through the generous donations of sponsors! Many sponsors have said the process is a positive experience—especially reading the student's application essay titled “How Has Lupus Affected Your Life?”. They are inspired by our students, feel connected to them, and most become yearly sponsors of our courageous students living with lupus.
L.I.F.E. has sponsorship categories that apply to either a company, individual, In Memory Of, and other non-profits, especially lupus organizations. Additional categories can be added to fit a sponsors needs and specifications. L.I.F.E. is proud of our winners and the sponsorships they have received—the minimum value to sponsor a student is $500. L.I.F.E. has been pleasantly surprised as many sponsors exceeded the minimum amount for sponsorship—truly an act of kindness.
Why is L.I.F.E.’s Sponsorship Program attractive?
It allows sponsors to be matched to a student based on a number of possible similarities. For example, the sponsor may choose a student with same interests, an alumni of the student’s college, state they live in, or other similarities between the student and sponsor. After getting to know the wishes of a sponsor, L.I.F.E. recommends one or more students thought to be a good match. However, the ultimate decision is up to each sponsor.
All sponsors receive recognition for their generosity from the Foundation and the student. Most importantly, the sponsor sees whose life they are touching with their contribution. The thank you letter provided by the sponsored student is personal and the sponsor sees first-hand who’s life they are changing and how.
All sponsored students—regardless of the type of sponsorship—are listed on L.I.F.E.’s website along with their sponsor if they wish to be recognized. This makes for good publicity for any company or organization wanting some extra positive exposure. Contact information, logo and description will be provided with a direct link to sponsor's website. Any sponsor may also chose to remain anonymous.
The support provided by a sponsor impacts the student in many ways. It makes them one step closer to their academic goals, gives them hope of a promising future with lupus, become productive members of society and pillars in their communities. Although individuals with lupus are considered disabled, L.I.F.E. believes our students are “differently abled” and great role models to anyone facing adversity.
Due to the success of our current Sponsorship Program, L.I.F.E. has founded a new Degree Completion Program/Renew Your L.I.F.E. Scholarship that allows students to renew their awards every academic year while at the same time giving back to other students struggling the same "cruel mystery" of lupus. Sponsors are able to take part in this new Program as well. This is a good option for sponsors that wish to support their chosen student throughout their academic career—until graduation! In addition, a donation of any amount can be given as well to help previous winners renew their L.I.F.E. Scholarships. This is a great way for individuals to show their support without the $500 minimum for sponsorship.
As a 501(c)(3) organization all contributions are 100% tax-deductible. No words can express how appreciative L.I.F.E. is to have your support.
Give the gift of knowledge this Holiday season to help L.I.F.E. continue its mission to spread awareness of lupus and support future L.I.F.E. Scholarships.
To learn more about the wonderful opportunity to change a life and be inspired click here.
Help a student with lupus accomplish their dream of obtaining a college education!
Only 68 tickets left! Get your ticket for your chance to win a 2015 Ford Mustang!
2015 L.I.F.E Scholarship Winner, Anissa LeeHangL.I.F.E extends many thanks to Mr. Kris N. Nakagawa and the Sjögren’s & Lupus Foundation of Hawaii (SLFH). In 2015, SLFH sponsored L.I.F.E Scholarship winner, Anissa LeeHang, an undergraduate student living with lupus. Anissa attends college at Hawaii Pacific University and is pursuing a career in rheumatology. According to Anissa, “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.”
SLFH founder, Melaca Cannela, is a Registered Nurse who just recently started SLFH in 2014 after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011. Melaca’s personal journey living with Sjögren’s syndrome motivated her to start the foundation and help those that are newly or previously diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome and/or lupus. She leads a very hectic life--a proud and involved mother, working as a nurse, and facing the uncertainties of an autoimmune disease. Despite how busy Melaca was she saw an opportunity to help a college student with lupus who was a native to Hawaii and requested that a board member--Mr. Kris Nakagawa sponsor the college student with lupus because it showed how two non-profits could join together and make an impact. A lot of lupus organizations don’t work together for the greater good and the impact is greater when people help each other as can be seen by L.I.F.E. and SLFH joining forces.
SLFH’s mission is to help educate, support and provide valuable resources for those living with lupus and Sjogren’s every day.Read more about Melaca and SLFH at
and access her blog at
L.I.F.E. received close to 100 applications from college students with lupus throughout the country. Due to the quantity of outstanding applicants selecting the winners has proven to be difficult. The 2015 L.I.F.E. Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce 29 inspirational finalists!
Being selected as a finalist is a considerable honor as the competition is at an all-time high. The following finalists’ applications have been nothing short of amazing. The essays on "How Lupus has Affected Your Life" are inspirational. The letters of recommendation, grades, and volunteer work/community service are all remarkable.
The 2015 winners have been announced here! If you are not selected as a winner, we strongly encourage you to apply again in 2016.
Outstanding job to all of the finalists! Thank you for sharing your story and for continuing to persevere despite the setbacks of lupus.
Abigail Saucedo University of Texas - Arlington
Alexa Marquez Skagit Valley College, WA
Alexis Staneiel Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Annelise Sprau Ohio State University
Anissa LeeHang Hawaii Pacific University
Brennan Powers University of Massachusetts Amherst
Christin Weston Austin Peay State University, TN
Davis Vertin University of Central Florida
Devin Cowan University of Central Florida
Garland Young Maryland University of Integrative Health
Haley Hahn University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Haylee Hinton University of Nevada - Las Vegas
J’Andrenique Taylor Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
Joshua Gaydon Lincoln University, MO
Julia Ann Walker San Francisco State University, CA
Kelsey Dickinson University of Denver
Kyrsten Freyou Northwestern State University, LA
Kyran Palmer Brigham Young University, UT
Leah Marie Vidal University of South Florida
Louisa Goss Williams College
Megan Roberts Endicott College, MA
Orasa Thajai Washington State University
Rebecca Mighell University of Oklahoma
Ryanne Harris Ursuline College, OH
Shaheen Rizvi University of New Mexico
Tam Ann Vu University of St. Thomas, TX
Tara Dearlove University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Taylor Pierce University of California - Davis
27. Tiffany White University of Memphis, TN
Congratulations to Jacqueline Saunders and Mattie Newman, both 2014 L.I.F.E Scholarship winners. These extraordinary women have successfully completed the ‘Bronze’ stage of the Renew Your Scholarship program and have secured Scholarship funds for the 2015-2016 school year! In order to complete the ‘Bronze’ stage, both Jacqueline and Mattie raised $500 for their renewed scholarship plus an additional $100 to help the Foundation award a L.I.F.E Scholarship to a new applicant.
The winners used their networks, including family and friends, to raise funds. According to Mattie, “When [my family] found out that buying raffle tickets could help me with a scholarship, they all tried to help as much as they could. A couple of my friends asked their parents and [the funds] came with unexpected generosity”.
Jacqueline took a slightly different approach. She found a sponsor to donate the minimum value of a scholarship ($500). By raising an additional $100 through other means, the Renew Your Scholarship program allowed Jacqueline to keep 100% of sponsored amount, completing the Bronze level.
Both Mattie and Jacqueline also used hand-written letters and took advantage of email and social media outlets, such as Facebook, which contributed to their success.
"This has been an effort to help the non-profit grow as well as get my scholarship renewed.” -Mattie Newman
"The L.I.F.E. Scholarship has made a positive impact on my education. I appreciate this scholarship very much, and I am thankful for this organization. Being awarded a scholarship from L.I.F.E. has further motivated me to give back to others with lupus. The way this scholarship is set up helps other students receive scholarships, as well. It has helped me, it has helped other students with lupus, and it has brought a little more awareness to a disease that does not get the recognition it deserves." -Jacqueline Saunders
If you are a previous winner who would like to take part in the 2015 Degree Completion Program email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or click here to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
To all our applicants, thank you for applying for the 2015 L.I.F.E. Scholarship. We appreciate your patience while the L.I.F.E. Scholarship Committee reviews the high volume of applications received. We will do our best to announce our Finalists by August. Thank you!
In recognition of Put on Purple Day, May 15th, L.I.F.E. is excited to announce Alexandra White as the second recipient of a L.I.F.E. Awareness Award! This outstanding applicant was selected as a 2014 L.I.F.E. Scholarship Finalist but due to the increased demand for our scholarships, was unable to receive one. Thanks to our new annual sponsorship program, the L.I.F.E. Awareness Awards, Alexandra was able to receive funding this year! Allie, as she likes to be called, could not have begun her battle with lupus at a worse time in her life--during adolescence which is a time full of change both physically and emotionally.What once seemed important, like a bad hair day or a missed class assignment, no longer carried the weight it once did. Thanks to newfound friendships with older and more mature friends, Allie learned healthier ways to address her frustrations. This fall, Allie will begin her second year at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she is double majoring in psychology and marketing.
On behalf of World Lupus Day, May 10th, L.I.F.E. is excited to announce Samuel Wood as its first recipient of the L.I.F.E. Awareness Award. Sam’s battle with lupus manifested with the iconic malar rash and progressively got worse to the point it attacked his joints and kidneys. After months of aggressive medical treatment, Sam entered remission and since then vowed to use his second chance to give back to the medical system. Despite his music degree from Berklee College of Music, Sam will begin medical school this fall. “I want to be a doctor to further the lineage of care and instillment of hope that transformed my life as a terrified patient desperately searching for solid ground.”
Lupus Inspiration Foundation for Excellence (L.I.F.E.) is excited to announce its new annual scholarship program! In recognition of Lupus Awareness Month, L.I.F.E. will be sponsoring at least one scholarship every May known as the L.I.F.E. Awareness Awards. This new program was created to promote awareness, and to reach our goal of representing all 50 states by awarding scholarships to students in states that have not yet been awarded.
The following scholarships will be awarded in May 2015:
On World Lupus Day, May 10th, a sponsored scholarship will be awarded to a 2015 scholarship applicant.
Put on Purple Day, May 15th, a sponsored scholarship will be awarded to a 2014 Finalist. This means YOU! The demand for our scholarships has increased, and we've had so many amazing applicants. In an effort to recognize all of our amazing scholarship finalists, we will be awarding a scholarship to a former finalist, just so you understand how truly wonderful you are. Please note, 2014 Finalists do not need to apply to be considered for the 2015 L.I.F.E. Awareness Award, however, we encourage all of our former finalists to reapply for the upcoming L.I.F.E. Scholarship deadline (July 1st, 2015) if they have not done so already.
There is no application procedure for these scholarships. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must fulfill all requirements listed on our website here and the student(s) must be from either a state not yet awarded a scholarship, or in a lesser represented state. If chosen for this award, students must be willing to share their story.
Best of luck!
In 2014, L.I.F.E participated in the Jim Click Jeep Cherokee Raffle selling over 200 tickets to directly benefit the Foundation. In 2015, the prize is even more enticing- a 50th Anniversary Exclusive Ford Mustang valued at $48,190. This Mustang is one of fewer than 2,000 ever made.
Selling tickets for the raffle is a great way to support L.I.F.E. All proceeds from tickets sold on behalf of L.I.F.E. go directly to the Foundation! In addition, previous winners that help sell tickets will have opportunity to renew their scholarship! To sign up to volunteer, please contact President and Co-Founder, Jodi Norton, at 520-299-9234.
Tickets cost $25 for 1 and $100 for 5. The raffle is limited to 100,000 entries so there is a much greater probability of winning the Mustang than winning the lottery.
1. Locate donors! Checks must be made out to Lupus Inspiration Foundation for Excellence. Please have donors write your name in the memo on their check.
2. Inform donor of raffle guidelines. Visit millionsfortucson.org for complete raffle guidelines.
3. Include contact information including the donor’s name, address, and phone number along with the check. This will allow them to be notified if they are selected as a winner.
Mail checks to:
5320 N. Corte Puesta Del Sol
Tucson, AZ 85718
4. Jodi Norton (L.I.F.E. President/Co-Founder) will send the donor their official ticket stub(s).
The drawing will be held on November 13, 2015. All entries must be received by November 6, 2015.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Good luck To all participants and thank you for your support!
Would you like to renew your L.I.F.E. Scholarship in 2015?
The L.I.F.E. team is proud of all our L.I.F.E. Scholarship Recipients! We commend you on your incredible ability to persevere despite the setbacks of lupus. The Foundation would not be possible without all the continued love and support we receive. Each year we develop programs to further our mission to spread awareness, provide resources for those affected by lupus, and most importantly, to award merit-based scholarships to college students with lupus throughout the country.
To further this mission, we are proud to announce the L.I.F.E Scholarship Renewal/Degree Completion Program to help Scholarship winners secure ongoing tuition costs while also giving support and recognition to another college student with lupus beating the odds!
Criteria for the L.I.F.E Scholarship Renewal/Degree Completion Program:
*All past winners must currently fulfill the minimum criteria for the L.I.F.E. Scholarship. Please review this information carefully.
The criteria for the three levels of the program is as follows:
BRONZE: Requires the student to raise the $500 minimum value of a L.I.F.E. Scholarship plus an additional $100 to help the Foundation award a L.I.F.E. Scholarship to a new applicant. Once $600 is raised the winner will be awarded the $500 renewal scholarship and can move on to the next level.
SILVER: The student receives 50% of any further funds they raise and the other 50% will go to the Foundation to further its cause.
GOLD: This top level requires the student to renew their Scholarship the following year by achieving both the BRONZE and SILVER levels again plus completing a task from a list of to-do-items determined by the L.I.F.E. Team. For completing this level, the student will receive a Certificate of Achievement from L.I.F.E.
NOTE: All levels are subject to change after 2015 as we gather information and suggestions from the winners participating and the L.I.F.E. Team.
If you are a previous winner who would like to take part in the 2015 Degree Completion Program/Renew Your Scholarship please contact L.I.F.E. or our leader Mattie Newman (2014 Winner chosen to lead this program) with any of your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can email copies of your transcripts to email@example.com.
L.I.F.E would like to thank donor Jean Bassett from Tucson, AZ for graciously sponsoring student Jena Trowbridge for a $1,000 Scholarship. The funds will help Jena complete her degree at the Remington College School of Nursing in Orlando, FL. Presently, Jena works as a Nutritionist and Lactation Consultant with the Florida Department of Health. According to Jena, “my chosen profession will enable me to fulfill my desire to help others, to expand my knowledge base, and to travel. Throughout my life I have participated in valuable volunteer experiences. I have striven for academic excellence, always wishing to make the most of my education.” According to Jean, “This has been very rewarding for me. You can plan on my sponsorship again next year. “
26-year old Jena Trowbridge was born and raised in the small town of Bath, Michigan. She was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in high school. After gaining acceptance to Western Michigan University, she began undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Despite undergoing treatment, she managed to maintain her status as a full time student while working part-time to cover living costs.
Although education plays a significant role in her life, Jena is active outside of the classroom. She was an athlete in high school, has volunteered for Big Brothers/Big Sisters for seven years, and currently volunteers at local high schools to educate expectant moms on nutrition, benefits of breastfeeding and car seat safety. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, kayaking, yoga, reading and playing basketball.
According to Jena, “I have faced many challenges, balancing work, school, and a chronic disease. My goal is to become a registered nurse so that I can perform tasks that clients cannot do for themselves. This new chapter of my life will continue to grow and develop who I am as a student, professional and individual; I gladly welcome all of these upcoming changes with ample enthusiasm for what the future may hold.”
Jena expressed her gratitude to Jean in a letter stating "I would like to express my gratitude for your financial support in the 2014-2015 L.I.F.E Scholarship. It is because of your generosity that I am able to focus on my studies and pursue higher education. Please know that your generous gift will be used with great enthusiasm, dedication and hard work. On behalf of all of the students working to overcome financial and health difficulties to achieve their dreams, I would like to thank you again for all that you are doing."
If you are interested in sponsoring a future L.I.F.E Scholarship winner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Rita Lee-Morado of Tucson, AZ, winner of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee!
L.I.F.E. would like to thank each and every donor who contributed to the Jim Click 2014 Raffle. Together, 300 nonprofits raised more than $750,000—a quarter million dollars MORE than was raised in the 2013 raffle. Over the past five raffle campaigns, charities have raised well over TWO MILLION dollars to support local services and programs!
Due to your generous contributions, L.I.F.E. exceeded its goal, selling over 200 raffle tickets. 100% of the funds raised went directly to L.I.F.E and therefore directly to the Scholarship winners. We greatly appreciate your continued support!
L.I.F.E President and Co-Founder, Jodi Norton, and V.P. of Public Relations, Bianca Augusto, attended the National Consortium’s 17th Annual Giant Steps Award Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Orlando, Florida. The National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) has spent the past 29 years developing and presenting quality programs designed to help improve the lives of student-athletes—focusing on ethical leadership, teamwork, diversity and inclusion, community service and degree completion programs.
President Richard Lapchick founded the NCAS as a way to use the power of sport to affect positive social change. They educate and empower individuals and organizations by inspiring values-based thinking leading to action that promote social responsibility and equality. The evening was inspiring and presented heart-felt stories of overcoming adversity and how one person can challenge themselves and make a difference in the world.
Richard Lapchick’s wife Ann and daughter Emily were first introduced to Jodi Norton at the 1995-96 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Awards Luncheon in Cape Cod. Richard was the keynote speaker. He stated “The event changed our lives because we were introduced to Jodi Norton, a diver at Columbia University with great athletic gifts, intelligence, an incredible smile, and enormous courage to overcome the obstacles of a life-threatening autoimmune disease---systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)”. At the event, Jodi was selected to receive the Award of Valor based on her success in athletics, academics and community service. She was selected from over 400 nominations. The following year, she was awarded the NCAS and Sport in Society Giant Steps Award in Boston as a courageous female student-athlete.
The 2014 event brought back many memories for Jodi. In addition, Bianca had the opportunity to meet Richard and meet inspirational individuals. According to Bianca “The most memorable speaker of the night was the recipient of the Courageous Student Athlete Award, Memuna Mansaray McShan. I later realized this was the same award Jodi received back in 1997.” Born in a civil war raged country where rebels attacked her family home, Memuna's right arm was shot resulting in amputation. Memuna overcame many obstacles from refugee camps and separation from her biological family to insecurities and stares as a result of her amputation. “After listening to this young woman’s truly inspirational speech, I realized she reminded me of Jodi. These two women, separated by decades, have in their own ways found the inner strength to share their personal stories and have overcome physical limitations as star athletes. Their stories are both one of hope and triumph; they truly demonstrate what it is to be courageous,” says Bianca.
As a committee member for the Lupus Foundation of America's (LFA) Walk to End Lupus Now Tampa and Education Committee, Ewo Harrell, 2014 winner, was invited to attend LFA's annual Gala in New York City. Titled "Evening of Hope", the annual event honors outstanding individuals who have been champions for those living with lupus and their families. It raises critically needed funds to support LFA's mission and its programs to fight lupus. Ewo took advantage of the opportunity by sharing her story with many of the attendees.
The gala is known for honoring key members in the lupus community. This year, noted members included Agent of Shields producers Maurissa Tancharoeb Whedon and Jed Whedon, and Dr. Iris Loew-Friedrich who earned the Barlin Family of the Year Award and the Corporate Leadership Award respectively. Also in attendance were LFA's Global Ambassador Julian Lennon with his friend Whoopi Goldberg, and actor Ian Harding (right) who works to raise funds and awareness for lupus research and education.
Congratulations to Mattie Newman for being selected as L.I.F.E’s ‘2014 Featured Scholarship Winner’ for her efforts to fundraise on behalf of the Foundation. Since receiving the award, she has sold more raffle tickets than any other winner for the Jim Click Automotive 2014 Jeep Cherokee Raffle to help non-profits. All tickets sold on behalf of L.I.F.E go directly to benefit the Foundation. The Raffle will take place on November 13th, 2014.
Mattie is a 19-year old Geology major attending Harvard University. She is one of fourteen students chosen to be a 2014 L.I.F.E Scholarship recipient for her strength and perseverance to succeed while battling systemic lupus- an autoimmune disease that leaves those afflicted in a state of constant pain and fatigue. Mattie has turned a diagnosis with lupus into a motivator rather than a hindrance. According to Mattie, “lupus made the start of high school nearly unbearable because I not only had to deal with constant pain, but the people around me were ignorant as to how opening a door was a challenge for me now. I used to be the best, and now my body just didn’t work. I [realized I needed to] start sharing my story with peers and I stop hiding.” Mattie shows her dedication and drive through the various activities in which she excels. She is the Music Manager of the Harvard University Band and recipient of the Malcolm Holmes ’29 Award for most dedicated band member. She is also the 2015 Director of the Harvard Model United Nations. In her hometown of Lowell, MI, Mattie has been the Kent County Youth Fair Exhibitor for seven years winning over 150 ribbons and 10 trophies. She also won all conference for Track for all four years of high school and served as Team Captain for three years. According the Mattie, “I decided to take lupus as a disease to work harder than those around me…lupus is a disease; but not a stopping point.”
As you may know, there is no cure for lupus. Life Extension Magazine recently published a report summarizing the research behind the effectiveness of glucoside extract from the white peony root in treating autoimmune diseases. The extract may simultaneously suppress harmful immune functions while boosting calming immune components- the most important step in reducing the pain and threat of autoimmune disorders.
When it comes to lupus, studies have shown that peony glucosides, when used for 5 years or more, can dramatically reduce the rate of people experiencing lupus flares to just 3% compared with 35% in those not using it. In patients receiving only mainstream drug therapy, rates of remission were significantly higher among those using peony glucosides as a conjunctive therapy. Click here to read the full report.
Thank you to everyone who applied for a L.I.F.E Scholarship this year! The competition was at an all time high. The following finalists will be awarded the scholarship award of a minimum of $500 for the 2014-2015 school year*. Congratulations to all of our winners!