Mackenzie G.

Undergraduate Recipient

"What inspirational advice would you give to others with CF entering high school or college? As part of your essay, please also explain the significance of your creative presentation to your journey with CF."

Gaining independence is imperative for transitioning into adulthood, especially for those living with Cystic Fibrosis. The best advice I could give to those with CF who are entering high school or college is to establish your health as a priority. Compliance to your treatment regimen is key to successfully managing Cystic Fibrosis and living a long, fulfilling life. I have learned that it is crucial to establish a routine for taking medications and doing breathing treatments before entering college, where you will have more extensive time commitments. Occasionally, you may have to prioritize your CF over preferred activities, but this should not discourage you because it is an indication that you are learning how to make important health-related decisions. Also, having a positive attitude is a very powerful tool for combatting CF. When you are experiencing struggles with Cystic Fibrosis, remember to smile, laugh, and never lose hope because with support, faith, determination, and a positive attitude, you can achieve any goal or overcome any struggle.

My creative presentation is a poem that compares overcoming obstacles in life to climbing mountains. In many ways, managing Cystic Fibrosis can feel like climbing a mountain. This became clear to me when I was first hospitalized for CF, and I have since referred to fighting CF as simply "climbing my mountain." Sometimes hospitalizations or other complications can cause you to lose some of your progress and slip down the mountain, but the view from the top makes all of the struggle worthwhile.


Mackenzie G.'s Artwork

Mackenzie G.'s Achievements

  • Ayersville High School Class Valedictorian with a weighted GPA of 4.084 (2014)
  • Varsity Track, 4 year letter winner (2011-2014)
  • Varsity Cross Country: 4 year letter winner (2010-2013), 2-time honorable mention all-conference (2011 & 2013), 400 mile club (2011-2013), Leadership Award (2013), Regional meet qualifier (2012)
  • National Federation of State High School Associations Spirit of Sport Award for Section 2 (Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland) (2014)
  • Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), Good Citizen Award (2013)
  • Westpoint Leadership Award (2013)
  • University of Findlay Dean's List (2014-2015)
  • Top 5% of Freshmen Class-University of Findlay (2014-2015)
  • Member of SOTA (Student Occupational Therapy Association)
  • Public Relations Representative for University of Findlay Newman Club