Rachael R.

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."

A word to future college students battling cystic fibrosis: take care of yourself first. Immerse yourself in the new culture and adventure of college life, but in the process, try not to deviate from your values and your responsibilities. Living at college reaffirmed for me the importance of compliance to all of my CF treatments. I quickly realized that I must stay healthy if I want to continue living away from home, keeping up with campus life, and excelling academically.

Secondly, do it your way. College is a confusing and hectic time, but it is also a time for you to surround yourself with people who will build you up and support you. It is an opportunity to expand your mind, deepen your knowledge, and explore your interests. Pursue what suits your passion, not what people tell you to do, because you of all people know how precious your time is.

My art piece parallels my personal view of the future. Looking forward, life with CF is an uphill battle. There are immediate obstacles in my path, and uncertain ones may be waiting beyond the bend. I can either worry about the rocky trail's arduous incline, or I can take the road one step at a time, reminding myself that every step is a new opportunity to admire the scenery. The road ahead is intimidating, but the scenery is beautiful, and I am blessed to have people in my life to help carry me when the road gets steep.


Rachael R.'s Artwork

Rachael R.'s Achievements

  • Snow Ski and Board, Seasonal Sales Associate (2012-present)
  • Country Club of Buffalo, Seasonal Professional Lifeguard, Assistant Swim Team Coach, Private Swimming Instructor (2014-present)
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Volunteer and Advocate (2000-present), Intern (2012), Committee member for walk planning (2000-present) Katie's Courage Award Recipient (2014)
  • Prevention Point Pittsburgh Needle Exchange, Volunteer--provide support and sanitary supplies to those afflicted with drug addiction (2013-present)
  • Duquesne University Academic Scholarship Recipient (2013-2017)
  • "CCC Award" Recipient (2013) - granted to an individual graduating high school who demonstrates character, courage, and commitment to community
  • Duquesne Entrepreneurial Alliance, Elected Member of Board of Executives - Event Planner, Active Member (2014-present)
  • Duquesne Art History Society, Active Member (2013-present)
  • Nardin Academy Varsity Squash (2009-2013) Captain & MVP (2013)
  • Nardin Academy Wellness Club (2010-2013), President (2013), Vice President (2012)