William H.

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."

Over the past few years I've realized how challenging my life will be, especially with CF. When the reality of my situation sets in, I look back to something I wrote for a Great Strides event that gives advice to myself and others with CF to keep pushing forward, which is what my creative presentation signifies.

"Breathe. Don’t quit, because even though you've been up all night coughing, and it hurts, it will still be there tomorrow. That junk. That junk in your lungs that you hate.

You're going to skip medicine. Your parents will buy you a pill box, and it will make you feel like an old person. But don’t worry, you aren’t old. But you will be. You will be old because you are going to live a long, healthy life. A life with people who love you and care about you. And from time to time you will forget about them, about all they do for you. So remind yourself to thank them. Say thank you because they want to hear it. They want to hear you talk, laugh, sing, hear you do your treatments and take your medicine. They want to hear you breathe, so just breathe.

It’s going to be tough sometimes, and a spoonful of sugar will not help all of that medicine go down. But just breathe. Just breathe because there is a world out there that wants to help you, hear you, and fight for you."


William H.'s Artwork

William H.'s Achievements

  • Raider Scholar and 4.0 Graduate of Distinction
  • Cleveland High School soccer team: JV-2 years Varsity-2 years; Sophomore year Coach's Award; Senior year highest GPA award
  • Student Government: 4 years elected class representative; senior year talent show coordinator
  • Yearbook: editor in chief
  • Model United Nations: delegate-2 years; senior year vice president
  • Acting: Actor in two high school theater productions; lead actor in student short film, "The Present", at Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Great Strides: Hammond Family and Friends team member and top fundraiser; Highest Individual fundraiser for the Great Strides for CFF Cleveland Division (2013)
  • Church Youth Choir: member-4 years; bass section leader-3 years; COG Teen Talent International large choir runner up (2013 and 2015)
  • TN Boys State Delegate; elected senator
  • Voted "Best Personality" senior superlative