Program Spotlight: Survivor and Sibling Scholarship Program
| January 31, 2019
The KCA Scholarship Fund was established to support young adult cancer survivors and their siblings by assisting them in pursuit of their academic and professional goals. The scholarships are designed to ease the financial burden of obtaining an education from an accredited university, community college, vocational or technical school. Applications are open to individuals who meet the criteria, demonstrate financial need, and show academic and personal potential.
Hannah Bellew, was a 2018 scholarship recipient who said ” This scholarship would empower and motivate me even more to pursue my dreams and make them realities.” Read Hannah’s scholarship winning essay below:
Experiencing cancer at the young age of three forced me to grow up at an unexpectedly fast rate. I wasn’t able to run through sprinklers on summer days with friends. Instead I was learning how to change my own gauze and swallow pills the size of my finger. The year that I spent in a hospital bed receiving chemotherapy treatments was the hardest year of my family’s life. Even at such a young age I remember questioning why my younger brother had to live in a Pack-N-Play on the hospital floor and my parents had to share a hospital couch as a makeshift bed. Through my treatments we had high days and low days. When Jarrett’s Joy Cart visited, it was always a good day. But there were other days I spent puking every medicine received only to have another dose shoved down my throat. Through my wonderful nurses, strong community, and loving God, I’m here writing this today.
Kids Cancer Alliance (KCA) has specifically helped me step out of my comfort zone and create friendships that will last forever. The first year I went to Indian Summer Camp I was so shy I only talked to my cabin mates. After seven years of attending camp I not only am comfortable there, but feel like I belong and am wanted at camp. Through KCA I have been able to meet kids and teens who understand what it’s like to question cancer and its existence, but I have also been able to invest in friendships with others who are still struggling and have been able to encourage and listen to them. KCA has provided me with a family that understands my story and gives me the opportunity help change other’s stories.
Because I am a motivated individual, I have many aspirations for my future. Currently, I am completing 11th and 12th grade in order to graduate a year early. This decision was made to help me continue my educational journey. I have plans to double major in Social Work and Intercultural Studies which will give me the foundation I need to start my dream career. My desire is to become a social worker who works with children in life threatening situations. Whether that be in a hospital setting or adoption setting is yet to be decided. Serving others and children are my greatest two passions and I believe this is because I missed out on my own childhood due to cancer and have seen the results. A normal childhood experience is crucial for proper development of a person.
If this KCA scholarship was given to me not only would it assist me in accomplishing my dream of becoming a social worker, but it would have a long lasting effect on children’s lives. Going into college a year early I have not had the extra year to work and earn money for school. I plan to work in college, but this scholarship would give me a boost and get me on my feet to start freshman year off on the right path. I have learned through life that dreams are nearly impossible to accomplish on your own, but with a little help here and there, these dreams become realities. This scholarship would empower and motivate me even more to pursue my dreams and make them realities.