Kaitlyn M.

Undergraduate Recipient

"A year from now, what advice might you give to your past self that could help you overcome any obstacles you are currently facing? Explain how this advice could help you live your life with CF to the fullest potential right now. As part of your essay please also explain the significance of your creative presentation to your journey with CF."

When your life is consumed with doctor’s appointments, breathing treatments, and a plethora of different medications it can feel like Cystic Fibrosis is the only aspect of your life. Telling new people about CF can be frustrating, and at times it seems as if that is all people see you as: someone with a chronic illness. If my future self could give my past self any advice it would be that you are more. I am and always will be more than my disease, even if I have difficulty discerning that right now. I have Cystic Fibrosis, but I am not Cystic Fibrosis. I am a zany, tenacious girl. I adore science, medicine, lipstick, and have a crazy enough desire to change the world. I will live my life to the fullest potential by applying to medical school cultivating my curiosity for medicine.

This advice is what I wanted to convey in my artwork. Through all the pills, chest vest treatments, and breathing treatments it is important to know that you are more than Cystic Fibrosis. The last picture poses a question; “What is your sixty-sixth rose?” Many young CF patients, including myself, grew up calling Cystic Fibrosis, “sixty five roses.” My advice to myself and to other CF patients is to find your sixty-sixth rose, something that makes you uniquely you. Find your sixty-sixth rose and unapologetically be that because a disease cannot define you. You are more.


Kaitlyn M.'s Artwork

Kaitlyn M.'s Achievements

  • Project Heal (Leadership Board 2015-2017)
  • Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society (President 2016-2017)
  • Biology Club
  • Pen-Pal Literacy Program
  • Big Belle/Little Belle Freshmen Mentoring Program
  • NICU Volunteer
  • Molecular Biology Research (Paper Analytical Device Project)
  • Ireland Study Abroad Scholar
  • Stand-up to Cancer Club
  • Dance Marathon Participant for Riley Children's Hospital