Katherine L.

Graduate Recipient

"In honor of the 25th anniversary of the AbbVie CF Scholarship, choose an event (personal or cultural/historical) from the past 25 years and describe how it has impacted your journey with CF."

Growing up, I was similar to my peers in most ways, but in fifth grade my Cystic Fibrosis became visible to my classmates. As the year began, I was hospitalized for a lung infection. After returning to school, I was very thin, had a PICC line, and was losing my hair. What happened at this point forever changed how I approached my life. I learned how to embrace my CF. My teacher encouraged me to talk to my peers about my health. I explained why they could not pull my hair, why I tired more easily at recess, why I was allowed to eat more snacks than everyone else, and why I went to the nurse before snacks and lunch. Mrs. Dubay taught me how to advocate for myself, embrace CF, and communicate about my CF with others. With her support, I visited every classroom with my best friend to discuss CF and the Great Strides Walk. Since then, I have fundraised for the CF Foundation, openly answered questions about CF, and most importantly, changed my outlook on CF. It is no longer some illness I deal with privately, but instead a part of my life that I share with everyone. This change has brought me a greater inner peace with the challenges I face due to CF. My journey with CF has inspired me to pursue a career as a Health Psychologist in order to enable and empower others to better cope with and embrace their own health challenges.


Katherine L.'s Artwork

Katherine L.'s Achievements

  • Health Psychology Concentration Group of Widener University
  • Therapist at Aquila of Delaware (Substance Abuse Center for Adolescents)
  • Psychology Club of Florida Southern College
  • Student Government Association, Fourth Year Senator of Florida Southern College
  • Psychology Research Student at Florida Southern College
  • Volunteer at the Great Strides Walk
  • Volunteer at the Race for the Cure
  • Volunteer at St. Augustine's Soup Kitchen
  • Volunteer at Parker Street Ministries
  • Intern at New York State Family Court Drug Court