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Grant's Spinal Cord Injury Won't Stop His Dreams

by Jessica June 20 2018 05:38
meet grant spinal cord injury scholarship recipient

Every year since our founder, Todd Brown, instated our annual scholarship program, we've heard so many amazing and inspiring stories from talented and determined students of all ages who are ready to achieve their dreams through higher education and take on the world!

June 1st was the cut-off date for taking applications for the 2018 school year, and in the last few months, we've received a whole new batch of applications from a wide variety of hopeful students, all aiming for their chance to earn one of the seven available 2018 180 Medical College Scholarship awards.

We always look forward to this time of year, and we're excited to begin our judging process soon.

For now, however, we'd love for you to get to know our scholarship recipients of 2017. You can find out more about each one of them and their goals in college, including MeghaFrankChelseaJosephElizabeth, and Heidi.

Last but not least, we're excited to introduce you to the final recipient of 2017. Meet Grant! 


grant 180 medical scholarship recipient quote 2017


Achieving Goals Despite Challenges

When Grant was injured 4 years ago at just 15 years old, it's possible that his life might have taken an entirely different direction if he had allowed himself to give up.

However, he worked hard to make it through rehabilitation therapy in just 3 months, despite his severe injury as a new C-6/7/8 quadriplegic. He came home from rehab at the end of the summer and went right back to school in September.

Grant was determined to continue to pursue his educational goals, no matter what new struggles he faced with his new disability. 

In fact, he didn't let his injury stop him from still attending almost every basketball game with his team, and he made sure to cheer his teammates on with a positive spirit.

During his time in high school, he received the Booster Club Senior Athlete of the Year award, as well as the Academic Excellence Award from his current college, Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU), for his outstanding GPA and his ACT score.


grant at physical therapy
Grant works hard in regular physical therapy to build and maintain his strength, despite his spinal cord injury.


Growing & Gaining Ground

adaptive driving for sci grantGrant's primary focus is continuing to work his way through college as a Business major while continuing his physical and occupational therapy. On top of working toward a degree, he has other passions and hobbies that keep him busy, including running his personal YouTube channel, gaming, and even writing a book about his life experiences. 

He recently acquired an adaptive vehicle and got his driver's license, stays active in his local church, and attends a monthly meeting for business owners, entrepreneurs, and creators. He hopes to continue learning from others' experiences in business and use this in his own goals.

Grant has shown true willpower and determination to achieve his dreams and better himself at every opportunity, and we here at 180 Medical wish him all the best in his future endeavors!


About the 180 Medical Scholarship

A college education can be difficult to afford for many students and their families, especially those who are living with conditions like spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, and/or an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy). That's why 180 Medical established a scholarship program to help students who are determined to achieve their goals, despite their condition.

We have stopped taking applications for the 2018 180 Medical College Scholarship as of June 1st. However, you can find full information, including eligibility requirements, at www.180medical.com/scholarships. You can also keep an eye on our social media pages for our official announcement of the seven recipients for 2018 on August 1st!


180 medical scholarship program for ostomy sci spina bifida


jessica 180 medical blog authorAbout the Author:

Jessica is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator, & she has been with 180 Medical for nearly 9 years. To her, the best part of working at 180 Medical is the opportunity to truly make a difference in peoples' lives. In her downtime, she enjoys creative writing, seeing new places, & spending time with her loved ones & her dogs. 

Heidi Overcame Hurdles to Advocate for Those with Disabilities

by Jessica April 20 2018 06:25
meet heidi scholarship recipient 180 medical

Last fall, we were excited to announce the 2017 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients. All of the applicants' essays were incredibly moving, and our seven finalists were certainly no exception!

Take a moment to get to know our previously featured recipients: 
MeghaFrankChelseaJoseph, and Elizabeth.

Today, we'd love for you to meet Heidi!


180 medical scholarship recipient heidi 2017 quote


Educating & Advocating for the Disabled

While Heidi goes to school to further her education, she works as an Adult Basic Educator and helps adults improve their basic skills in math, reading, and even with American Sign Language.

As a deaf and disabled woman who is a Disabilities Advocate, Heidi also has the amazing opportunity to help adults and children living with disabilities. She uses dolls that have been fitted with MIC-KEY buttons (a low-profile feeding tube) and colostomy stomas in order to help familiarize children who may be new to living with a feeding tube or an ostomy.

But if you had asked her twenty years ago what she would be doing with her life, she would never have imagined that things would turn out quite the way they have.


heidi and ostomy dolls for childrenHeidi with some of the educational tools and dolls that she uses to help familiarize children with their condition and normalize living with an ostomy and/or a feeding tube 


Unexpected Illness & Loss Changed Everything

Before Heidi got started on her current career path, she earned degrees in Nursing as well as Music Education. For many years, she worked as a Developmental Nurse Educator.

helping disabled kidsHeidi says, "I provided families with the tools necessary to gently shape their precious children's global development, while also sharing in the celebration of successes, comforting them in times of grief, acknowledging their fears, validating their hopes, and empowering them to advocate for their children." Her profession, at the time, truly fed her soul and allowed her to use her experiences, education, and gifts in helping others.

But then, everything changed. Originally, Heidi had been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for many years. Then she found out that the original diagnosis was incorrect; she had inherited Mitochondrial Myopathy. 

Mitochondrial Myopathy, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, affects the cells of the body and can cause "both muscular and neurological effects" like:

  • Weakened muscles
  • Hearing loss / deafness
  • Balance issues
  • Seizures
  • Learning deficits
Around this time, her youngest child tragically passed away due to a severe neurological disease. Then she had to battle a form of drug-resistant pneumonia that caused multiple complications for Heidi. The worst was anticipated, and she was put into hospice care. 

However, Heidi says, "I had more work to do."


Using Her Experience to Help Others

sign language heartTo everyone's astonishment, including her doctors, Heidi worked hard to get her strength back. She made it through her illness and eventually returned to school to major in Deaf Studies. 

It wasn't long after this that she began her role as an Adult Basic Educator and tutored students who were "disadvantaged by disability, poverty, and inadequate social and educational support." 

Today, Heidi is working toward earning her Master's degree in Higher Education, and she hopes to create a more accessible educational program for these students. 

It's truly amazing to see someone who has gone through so much and is still so eager to keep moving forward and aid other people in need of a helping hand.

We wish Heidi the best of luck and blessings as she moves forward with her career plans and continues to use her personal experience to comfort those living with disabilities or families dealing with losses of their own. 


About the 180 Medical Scholarship

We understand that college isn't easy to afford for many students, and it can be especially difficult for those living with conditions like spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, and/or an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy). That's why 180 Medical established a scholarship program to help those students who are determined to keep working hard to achieving their goals and dreams.

Currently through June 1, 2018, 180 Medical is accepting applications for our 2018 scholarship program. You can find full information, eligibility requirements, and download an application at www.180medical.com/scholarships.


180 medical scholarship program for ostomy sci spina bifida



About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years and is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for a company that truly cares both for its employees and its customers.


 

Elizabeth is Determined to Win the Daily Battle Against Her Disability

by Jessica March 14 2018 06:27
elizabeth 2017 scholarship recipient

Earlier this year, we were proud to announce the seven 2017 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients. This year's group of applicants and especially the 2017 recipients are truly inspiring and are living proof of overcoming odds to achieve dreams, so we love getting to let you know more about these bright students and their career goals.

So far, we've introduced you to four of our seven recipients: MeghaFrankChelsea, and Joseph. We're excited to introduce you to Elizabeth today!


elizabeth inspirational disability quote


Facing the Challenges of Cerebral Palsy

From the start, Elizabeth was extraordinary. She was born two months premature in a set of quadruplet girls. 

For over a year, everything seemed normal, until Elizabeth's parents realized she wasn't sitting up on her own and couldn't crawl or walk like her sisters.

The doctors diagnosed her with Cerebral Palsy, which is a condition caused by a lack of oxygen to an infant's brain (asphyxia) during childbirth. There are multiple complications and symptoms that can arise from a condition like Cerebral Palsy, and it's rarely the same for each person affected. Some of the potential symptoms of cerebral palsy may include:

  • Muscle tone variation
  • Seizures and/or tremors
  • Difficult with walking or unusual gait
  • Difficulty with coordination and motor skills
  • Delays in speech development
  • Neurogenic bladder or urinary incontinence
  • Delayed development
Elizabeth has now lived with Cerebral Palsy for almost 24 years, and for her, the condition affects her whole body and many other aspects of her life.

"Thankfully," she says, "I do not have to face this challenge alone."


Finding Joy in Family, Sports, & School

elizabeth at homecomingElizabeth's family has been with her every step of the way since her birth. Although living with Cerebral Palsy does make her somewhat dependent on her family for her daily care, they state that "the joys and opportunities that have come through sharing life with [Elizabeth] far outweigh any sacrifices."

One joy that Elizabeth found at just eight years old is Paralympic Boccia. She found the challenges of the sport perfect for a competitive outlet, and Boccia is perfect for her physical abilities.

Even today, Elizabeth is still actively participating in Boccia, and she competed in the 2017 National Championships most recently.

"I also co-chair the Youth Development Taskforce for Boccia's national organization, USA Boccia. The Taskforce's vision is to expand youth participation in Boccia at the regional and national level," Elizabeth states. 

Despite her condition and her avid participation in Boccia, she worked hard in school, made excellent grades, and graduated from John Brown University with her Bachelor's degree in Child and Family Studies. Her time in college strengthened her passion to help others, particularly at the policy level of social work. 

During her time at school, she finally got to experience living apart from her family and having assisting staff for her daily care and needs, which was another step toward the independence that Elizabeth craves, although she is grateful beyond words for her family's unending support. 


Working To Become a Leader in Social Change

Currently, Elizabeth is now completing her Master's Degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois, and she is beyond thrilled to be able to start on this new adventure and continue her preparations for her career through higher education. 

She plans to concentrate on Leadership and Social Change. When talking about why she chose this field, Elizabeth is excited and hopeful. 

"I value social work, because it is an opportunity to truly meet people where they are and empower them to fulfill their potential by offering new skills and resources. With my degree, I seek to impact the disability service system in our country, advocating for the dignity and well-being of all people across the spectrum of ability," Elizabeth says. 

Even though Elizabeth faces a daily battle, she says she refuses to allow Cerebral Palsy to become a prison or limit her in any way. She is determined to use her own experiences to make a difference in others' lives. 


elizabeth motivational quote 180 medical scholarship recipient 2017


We are all certain that with her drive and dedication, she will go far in improving the lives of others living with disabilities, and we wish her the best of luck in her future goals!


About the 180 Medical Scholarship

College isn't always easy to afford, and we know that there can often be extra financial hardship heaped on students who live with conditions like spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, and/or an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy). That's why 180 Medical established a scholarship program to help those aspiring students work toward achieving their dreams.

We're accepting applications for the 2018 180 Medical College Scholarship Program now through June 1, 2018! You can download an application and get full information at www.180medical.com/scholarships.


180 medical scholarship program for ostomy sci spina bifida



About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years and is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for a company that truly cares both for its employees and its customers.


 

180 Medical 2015 College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Kanbi

by Jessica January 25 2016 18:50
Last fall, we announced our 2015 College Scholarship recipients. As the 2016 application period is open now, we will continue to feature the last few of our individual scholarship recipients, so be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get notified when new blog posts are published. Previously, we have featured Mallory, Mary Beth, Erin, William, Emily, and Greg. Today, meet Kanbi.

kanbi knippling
Kanbi is a Junior attending South Dakota State University and working toward a degree in Psychology & Human Development. Since birth, she has had spina bifida. The doctors told her parents she was too disabled to expect to survive, but she fought hard and survived her first major surgery. And all the surgeries after that, many of which were during her first few years of life. Since then, she has continued to fight through recovery of more than 40 surgeries in her life so far, and through it all, she maintained her schoolwork as well as remained active in various clubs and leadership positions in her junior high and high school years.

That hard work has also paid off in college, and she hopes to become a certified child life specialist, which is a person who works to help children and their families cope with illlness, disability, and other aspects related to hospitalization. She has maintained the honor of being on the Dean's List for all four of her semesters as a Freshman and Sophomore at college, and she was also named to serve on the Brookings Human Rights Committee as a student representative. She is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Psi Chi, and Phi Upsilon Omicron.

Given Kanbi's experience herself in being a child that dealt with multiple hospitalizations in her life, as well as her passion to serve her community and work hard, we're sure that she will be wonderful as a child life specialist in the future.

180 Medical is a nationally-accredited provider of sterile-use intermittent catheters and ostomy supplies, and we're proud to be considered the first choice for many of the top healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and doctors' offices across the nation because of our product knowledge, top-notch service, and our dedication to customer care. We are honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. 

The 2016 Scholarship application period began as of January 1st and will run until June 1st of this year. Applications are now available to download. To learn more about 180 Medical's annual scholarship, visit www.180medical.com/scholarships.

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