Abbott today awarded the 2010 Thriving Student Achiever Scholarship to Jason Egbert, a student with cystic fibrosis who demonstrates exceptional academic achievement, community service, creative and artistic talent and passion for inspiring others. Jason Egbert from Rexburg, Idaho, was selected for the Thriving Student Achiever Scholarship from a group of 40 outstanding students with cystic fibrosis (CF) who were awarded scholarships totaling $115,500 through the CFCareForward program, formerly known as SolvayCARES.
'When I was first diagnosed at eight months old, only half of the kids with CF were expected to live past the age of 16 - I'm 24, married and studying to become an optometrist,' said Jason Egbert, 2010 CFCareForward Thriving Student Achiever and student at Southern California College of Optometry. 'CF hasn't limited my life. It's taught me how to make the best of every moment.'
For 18 years, the Scholarship program has granted more than $2.1 million to exceptional students living with CF. This year 40 student finalists were selected from hundreds of applicants to receive $2,500 scholarships for use during the 2010-2011 academic year. From these 40 finalists, the 2010 Thriving Student Achiever was chosen by the general public through nearly 34,000 votes cast online, via telephone and text to receive a scholarship award totaling $18,000.
'Imagine that these kids were labeled 'failure to thrive' at birth and now, living with a disease as serious as cystic fibrosis, they are more than thriving, they are living each day to the fullest and inspiring all of us to make our dreams come true,' said
Donald V. Patton, senior vice president, U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Abbott. 'We're pleased to recognize our Thriving Student Achiever and all of our CFCareForward Scholarship winners not only for their creativity and achievements today, but also for their efforts to inspire others and lead toward a better tomorrow.'
Along with submitting their academic and community service achievements, applicants answered the question 'who or what inspires you to pursue your dreams?' through an essay and artistic creation, such as a poem, song or artwork. The following is 2010 Thriving Student Achiever Jason Egbert's essay:
Married couples in their 90's that still hold hands
Painless breaths of fresh air
Friends that push me to be better
Seeing others succeed
A good, clean joke
A pretty clean, dirty joke
Simple acts of kindness
Doctors and nurses that smile at me and call me by name
My wife's love and continual encouragement
Just kidding about the dirty joke thing
Michael J. Fox
A good challenge
When other people believe in me
Integrity, courage, sacrifice, loyalty
Advancements in medical research
Checking out of the hospital
Cystic Fibrosis patients in their 60's
Family, coaches and teachers
Acing a test
The strength that comes from my faith in God
Submissions from the 40 finalists, as well as this year's three 'Honorable Mention' recipients, can be viewed online at www.CFCareForwardScholarship.com.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 30,000 children and adults in the U. S. In the 1950s, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school. Today, approximately 45 percent of the CF population is over the age of 18 years old, allowing many to pursue higher education.
Abbott's CFCareForward program provides comprehensive nutritional, educational and financial support for patients living with cystic fibrosis, their families and healthcare professionals. Formerly known as the SolvayCARES program, Abbott is honored to continue this 23-year-old commitment. To learn more about the CFCareForward program, please call 1-855-CARE4WD.
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.
Abbott information is available on the company's website at www.abbott.com.