Katelin P.

Undergraduate Recipient

"Life can be a series of challenges or opportunities depending on how you approach it. As you enter adulthood, how have you conquered a difficult task to turn it into an opportunity? As part of your essay, please explain the significance of your creative presentation to your journey with CF."

Sometimes it feels as though I was born to overcome obstacles and beat the odds. From being diagnosed with CF at the age of six to an almost decade long battle against drugs, I have experienced my fair share of adversity and shortcomings. However, I have never let any of these downfalls dampen my zest for life. I became addicted to heroin at the age of eighteen and by the age of nineteen, I found myself homeless and completely strung out. As I continued to enter treatment programs and see numerous doctors, they were perplexed by me and my history with CF and addiction. They called me a "walking miracle" because of the intense respiratory distress heroin does to the body. After what seemed like a lifetime of misery, numerous overdoses and countless trips to the ER, and twenty treatment programs later, I was finally able to not only achieve sobriety but maintain it. I will have four years of sobriety in May and I take each new day as a blessing. Addiction and CF have taught me to never take life for granted and to appreciate life for what it is. I won my battle against drug addiction and want to turn my negative experiences into something positive for those individuals who are still struggling. I have never let CF or addiction define me as a person. Instead, I want to be defined for what I truly am: a student, a friend, a sister, and a daughter.


Katelin P.'s Artwork

Katelin P.'s Achievements

  • Member of the National Society of Leadership and Success
  • Member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society
  • Member of the ASPCA
  • Dean's List for Academic Achievement at IUPUI - 2014 and 2015
  • Certificate in Phlebotomy at MedTech College in Indianapolis - 2013
  • Volunteer at Girls Inc.
  • Volunteer at Trusted Mentors
  • Volunteer at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF)
  • Volunteer at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
  • Chemical Dependency Technician/Adolescent Guidance Specialist at Fairbanks Hospital - October 2014- Current