Katherine S.

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."

This past November I experienced a life changing event. During a routine endoscopy I experienced a pulmonary hemorrhage and was left without oxygen for six minutes. Miraculously a team of 22 doctors and nurses saved my life. I was on a ventilator, lost a considerable amount of blood, and had an unknown amount of damage to my lungs. I was in the hospital for a week following, and missed a week of school. This was the most surprising and terrifying attack against my life CF had taken. In all the years I have battled this illness I never truly understood just how precarious living with CF is. I’ve been vigilant about my treatments and used exercise as a way to keep my lungs strong my whole life but even that was not enough. It was the team of 22 doctors that performed a miracle on that day, and not my efforts, that has given me a second chance. One week after the hemorrhage I returned to school and took all my finals. I had always valued the impact health professionals have on people’s lives. Now I have a newfound respect for the power of one person to heal another. That is why I will continue to do whatever it takes to pursue my doctorate and become a physical therapist so one day I can help someone the way I was helped. There are circumstances beyond our control but I refuse to let CF stop me from helping others.


Katherine S.'s Artwork

Katherine S.'s Achievements

  • University of Delaware Women's Rowing Team, (2016,2015,2014, 2013)
  • Volunteer at Pennsylvania Adaptive Sports (Adaptive Rowing), 2015, Bayada Regatta
  • Volunteer at Happy Fest (All-inclusive Obstacle Course, provided support for different abled athletes), 2017
  • E-Board Member for Stony Brook Physical Therapy Class of 2019 (Social Chair), 2017
  • Mary Whipple Award 2015-US Rowing
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Volunteer, Great Strides (Team Leader), CF Row (Event Organizer)
  • Boomer Esiason Foundation Volunteer- Empire Challenge, fundraising: NYC Half Marathon, CF Run to Breathe, and March 2016 Athlete of the Month
  • PNC Bank Student Athlete Achievement Award -2016
  • SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Council) Health and Wellness Committee, APPLE Conference-Grapevine TX (substance abuse prevention in collegiate athletes)