Katherine S.

Undergraduate Recipient

"Describe an achievement or rewarding experience that you are most proud of accomplishing while living with CF, and how it has molded the person you have become."

Crossing the finish line! That is an achievement I am proud of accomplishing. Last semester I was sick, PICC line sick. I was tired of feeling run down. I was angry; I felt CF was holding me back. I was determined not to let CF get the upper hand. So, I decided to run a half-marathon.

Initially, I just wanted to finish. I built myself up from walking to running 10 miles everyday. Those first weeks of training, every mile I had to stop to cough up mucus. It hurt, but what hurt more was the thought of stopping, of giving up. I worked hard for every mile.

On race day, the tightness in my chest which plagued me in the first months was gone. With each successive step I ran towards a new chapter in my life. One where I do not doubt what I can accomplish because of CF.

The experience affected me profoundly. I realized that with hard work, anything is possible. Also, it is OK to get angry about CF as long as I use that anger to get to a better place. With CF there are times that I feel sick, it can last weeks, or even months--which makes it easy to get discouraged. The person who gets back up when they've fallen, fallen hard, can overcome whatever life throws at them. I have learned how to be that person. I will make it my mission to be that person, no matter what the obstacle.


Katherine S.'s Artwork


Though at times I feel my lungs are as fragile as twigs, my will to live well is stronger. While I'm forced to carry this disease around with me, I refuse to make excuses and be lessened by it. For it is the struggles in life that make the victories sweet.

Katherine S.'s Achievements

  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Volunteer, Office Assistant, Golf Outing, Team Leader, Great Strides
  • University of Delaware Athletics volunteering at food bank, Special Olympics
  • National Honor Society
  • University of Delaware Honors Program, Biology Major, Dean's List
  • Soccer (2010, 2011), Captain (2012), All-Conference
  • Lacrosse (2010 – 2012) Captain (2011), All-Academic American (2012)
  • Sportsnite (2010 – 2012), Banner Captain (2011), Overall Captain (2012)
  • Scholar Artist, Artist of Merit (2012)
  • University of Delaware Women's Rowing Team (2012 – 2014)
  • Boomer Esiason Foundation NYC Half-Marathon (2014), Volunteered at Empire Challenge (2013)