Thank You Notes to L.I.F.E.

Dear Jodi....

Thank you for the generous contribution to help further my education with the L.I.F.E Scholarship. I am honored to be a recipient of this award. I have sincerely enjoyed getting to know you and to learn about our similar experiences battling with lupus. I hope to make a different in the healthcare environment through my practice in Pharmacy, while also representing this scholarship by being a role model for those who have lupus. I look forward to stay involved with the L.I.F.E. organization throughout Pharmacy school, and also after graduation. I very much appreciate this scholarship and we shall be in touch soon. Thank you again.

Best Regards,

Jacqueline Saunders


Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to win a lupus scholarship! The entire application process as well as the post-scholarship work have been very good for my relationship with my disease. Ever since I was diagnosed, I have tried to delay the fact that I have lupus and I have often caused myself to flare simply because I ignored it. But when I had to write that essay about how lupus has affected my life, it helped me to take ownership and possession of my disease as I pointed out the different ways it touched me. This scholarship program really helped me to see that it's okay to admit that I have lupus because that doesn't necessarily mean I won't be able to achieve my life goals and dreams.

Before I was someone who worked toward her ambitions while trying to ignore her disease, but now I can proudly say that I am daily stiving toward my objectives in life, while fully embracing my disease. This isn't to say that living with lupus is easy, but it seems womewhat easier to live with it now that I've fully accepted it instead of hiding from it. I had been having a hard week when I heard the news abou tmy scholarhsip. I had auditioned for several shows here at OU and had nto been cast, and so I was very discouraged. I heard the news while walking back to my dorm and it immediately brightned my day. I finally felt as if someone was acknowledging the hardships I had gone through and continually go through and I felt an overwhelming sense of support. It is things like this that will help me get through those tough times when lupus is just winning and I am losing. Thank you so much again for this amazing gift, and I hope you can tell how much this has meant to me!


- Becca Mighell


Thank you so much for awarding me the scholarship as this will help me pay for my books this fall semester. May God bless you and your ministry to help those with lupus to further their education.


John Truong


I enjoyed our phone conversation last week. That was the first time I had a conversation about my experiences with lupus with someone who can really relate! Thank you for your time and concern.

I also want to thank you and the members of the Lupus Inspiration Foundation for Excellence for awarding me the scholarship. I am incredibly pleased and very honored. I will uphold the standards of the foundation as I continue to pursue my college education.

Please accept my sincere gratitude for the scholarship award. And thank you for relating to young people who cope with SLE.

- Kristin Badrak


Thank you so much for choosing me as one of your scholarship recipients! I am honored and very grateful to you- both fo rhte financial assistance and for helping raise awareness of the difficulty and challenges we face while in school. It is both validating and as the foundation's name suggests, empowering. I look forward to a continued relationship with you and 'L.I.F.E.' and hope some day to be able to contribute to the foundation's growth in some way. Until then, please accept my heartfelt thanks.

Janice Shelton


It was so nice to talk with you this past Monday. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, once again, for offering me the L.I.F.E. Scholarship for the Fall Semester. I am confident that the scholarship will help me complete this semester of school and allow me some time to also participate in school and other activities that I enjoy. Fall season is arriving here, and I hope to fit some hiking into my exercise routine. Although, I am quite sure that the money will be spent on books.

- Tracee J. Fultz


I’d like to thank you and your foundation for honoring me with one of your scholarships. Every small bit helps, especially since funding for higher education was cut dramatically in Texas. Since applying for this scholarship, I have since gotten a job at a dog boarder and groomer and joined the forces of a research team within my psychology department. We are working to standardize the Thematic Apperception Test, making it more widely available for clinical use. It’s been a fun but busy summer.

- Erin Cobb


I just wanted to say thank you to you and the other scholarship committee members for selecting me as one of the L.I.F.E. Scholarship winners for this year. I am extremely honored and very excited to have received this award.

- Taryn West


It is truly an honor to be chosen as a winner of the L.I.F.E. scholarship. It has not only provided me with financial assistance that will help me to fulfill my own goals of the future, but the experience has also inspired me and given me hope. I know there are many inspirational stories that can be told about the struggle with lupus, and it means so much to me that there are people that want to hear my story and know how it has shaped my life as an individual.

 - Keelia Postlethwaite


Thank you so much again for your gift from the L.I.F.E. Foundation! I am so excited and couldn’t be more grateful. It really means a lot when you find organizations like yours that help people with lupus persevere through school.

- Natasha Toe 


Please forgive my tardiness for sending a ‘thank-you’ for the scholarship you so generously gave me last semester. It took some pressure off of me to be able to use some of that money to purchase textbooks. As it turns out, last semester was complicated and difficult for me due to the loss of my fiancée. We lost his two year battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and is now in a happier, more comfortable place. Most recently, I have been in a Lupus flare and have had to withdrawl for medical necessity. After recovery, I fully intend to return to school and finish my degree before applying to medical school. While I’m at it, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to chat with me over the phone when I had called to accept the Lupus L.I.F.E. scholarship. You have been a continuous source of inspiration to me. I hope to hear from you again and would like to re-visit the requirements for being a part of your “But you don’t look sick” project.

 - Courtney Morgan


I am honored and grateful to be among the six SLE students selected to receive the August 2008 L.I.F.E. Scholarship award. I find it tremendously encouraging to know that others believe in me, my goals and my dreams.

Many years ago when I was first diagnosed with SLE I found it impossible to dream of a bright prosperous future. Fortunately, for me I was blessed with the opportunity of meeting many medical professionals, and other individuals with SLE who inspired me to believe that I could have a bright promising future.

I sincerely hope that my experiences will encourage others who struggle to overcome obstacles in their lives. Thank you so much for financial assisting my education and even more importantly, validating my efforts and accomplishments.

I had an opportunity to read Jodi’s story, and I am very inspired by her courage and strength. The L.I.F.E. scholarship is about living. Thank you Jodi and Adina for sharing your dream by founding the Lupus Inspiration Foundation for Excellence, and for all of the donors who support the foundation.

 - Ruth Michael


I feel extremely fortunate and privileged to have been selected as a recipient of the L.I.F.E. scholarship award. I was diagnosed with lupus a year ago and since then have been struggling to cope with this life-altering disease. Despite the continued difficulty presented by my illness, I have continued to work hard and am happy to report that I am beginning my first semester at New York University. Being the recipient of this award has meant a great deal to me and has provided me with the inner happiness of knowing that despite the obstacles of having lupus, I am recognized for my hard work, devotion to learning, and continued effort to overcome this chronic disease. The generosity of this scholarship has reminded me that genuine, goodwill and kindness exist in the world. I hope that one day I will be able to help others the way this scholarship is helping me.

 - Rachel Hirshfeld


I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this scholarship. With both of us in school, an 18 month old daughter and some old medical bills hanging over our heads, this is the greatest blessing. I would love to talk to you more about your experiences with Lupus, your book and about starting the foundation. Thank you for all that you do and the example that you are. I hope you have a wonderful day.

 - Jennifer Garrett


I just found out from my mom that you had called telling me that I will be one of the recipients for the LIFE scholarship. I am so grateful and honored to be one of the lucky people to receive this award. Thank you again for this opportunity. I am truly blessed by your foundation!

- Cheryl Nangit


I originally applied to the L.I.F.E. scholarship in hopes of winning some “quick cash” to help pay for my college costs. I thought I had a pretty good chance of winning because really how many people actually had lupus? At the time I had only been diagnosed with lupus for about a year and a half. Up until that point I had lived in ignorance. The basic extent of my knowledge about lupus was that it was an autoimmune disease I would have to live with for the rest of my life. To be honest I kept myself unaware because I figured that knowing would only make me more worried (maybe I just thought that if I did not acknowledge it, then it did not exist). But I was wrong.

Being a recipient of the L.I.F.E. Scholarship has helped me in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Ever since I received that phone call from founder Jodi Norton that I was a scholarship recipient, my life has changed. For starters (but certainly not all) I learned that I am by no means one of few. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, there is an estimated 1.5 million Americans living with a form of lupus. Living with lupus is not something you can ignore, it’s something you must learn to live with and the best way to do that is to learn as much about it as you can. It is not only important for those diagnosed to understand lupus but to make this chronic disease known to others across the globe (especially since it is so much more widespread than is recognized). Most importantly however is that I have been inspired. Jodi Norton is such an inspiration to us all. All that she has accomplished and had to overcome while still maintaining a positive attitude is a triumph not only for herself but for the entire lupus community. In sum, winning the L.I.F.E. scholarship has both enlightened and inspired me and I am very grateful for this.

 - Bianca Augusto


Thank you very much for awarding me the L.I.F.E. Scholarship. The scholarship will play a part in chipping away at the enormous iceberg of college tuition.

High school has been great, but I am very much looking forward to the new challenge of college. Being on my own will be a horrifying yet necessary experience for my maturation. By shipping myself across the country to Boston, I think that I will acquire a sense of independence quite quickly. Leaving my friends and family will be stressful at first. However, I have over 5,000 new people to meet, so I'm sure the loneliness will vanish the moment I arrive on campus.

Since I was a little kid, it has been my dream to attend a school on the east coast. It has always sounded so prestigious and cultured. The opportunity to go to college will open many doors for me. I thank you and the scholarship committee for honoring me with the L.I.F.E. Scholarship.

 - Jennifer Konick


Words fail to express the overwhelming joy and gratefulness I have for being honored with this scholarship award. I am convinced that your organization team consists of saintly people who truly care about the hurdles that the lupus student faces. The practicality of not requiring full-time status shows you know the hurdles that are faced. This gift will make a huge difference in being able to further my degree.

Bianca Augusto is just a darling that was so very kind and helpful and I’m sure she emulates that from your entire group.


May God bless you as you have blessed me with this gift!

 - Tammy Cochenour


Thank you so much for awarding me the scholarship as this will help me pay for my books this fall semester. May God bless you all to help those with lupus to further their education.

 - John Truong


Thank you so much for your generous scholarship award. I am grateful for your contribution to my education and to the education of so many students who are learning to thrive in spite of lupus.

I am in my fourth year at Temple University School of Medicine and am looking forward to someday caring for others using the knowledge I have acquired by having a chronic disease. I am thankful for the Lupus Inspiration Foundation for Excellence for helping me along the journey.

- Kristin Walsh 


On behalf of the University of California, Santa Barbara, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our students through your organization's scholarship award. Without this support many deserving students would face financial obstacles that could keep them from completing their college education. This scholarship will assist us in our efforts to provide students with options as they strive to achieve their academic goals.

Our mission is to address the needs of a diverse and ever-changing student population and to promote their active participation in the university's challenging academic environment. Students often find themselves in a position of having to secure student loans to cover their educational expenses. We use scholarship funds to reduce or replace these loans whenever possible. By graduating with minimal debt, UCSB students are free to pursue graduate studies and careers based not on financial imperatives, but rather on genuine interest, commitment, and passion. We are committed to providing students with the financial resources and related services necessary to achieve their educational goals and your support greatly assists us in this endeavor.

- Michael Miller, Director of Financial Aid, UC-Santa Barbara