Mary A.

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."

I am a survivor. I lived with Cystic Fibrosis all my life and I thought I was the sole fighter but three years ago I learned it was not just me fighting. How did I come to this realization? Three years ago in 2014 I lost my mother. She passed away from complications caused by 9/11. A lot of things became complicated after that. She came to every single CF check-up I had and I did not know how triggering it would be that every time I go see the doctor I cry. My partner in crime was gone in a familiar place. The first appointment I had after she was gone I had to stay strong and had to have the doctors explain my entire medical history to me because I had always relied on my mother to know that information. I did not have her anymore and suddenly all of medical concerns became just my concerns. It was like I was thrown into being an adult and I wanted to stay a kid. Staying a kid is less scary. Now three years later I’m still adjusting to having to accept full responsibility for my health and I am still learning. The most important thing I learned is that its okay to not be okay. I will always have a team to lean back on and understand why going to the doctor is hard for me but something I must do.


Mary A.'s Artwork

Mary A.'s Achievements

  • Graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University at Buffalo with a B.F.A in Theatre Performance
  • Became a manager at PetSmart
  • Completed my first show in NYC as Celia in Shakespeare's As You Like It
  • Began Graduate School at Long Island University to earn my M.F.A in Acting
  • Met my Great Strides goal this year as Team Leader
  • Taught Undergraduates Shakespeare
  • Worked on a show called Who Will Carry The Word about the holocaust to create Theatre for Justice
  • Basic Life Support certified (CPR and first-aid certified)
  • Inducted into Golden Key, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Achieved Excellence in Research at The University at Buffalo for my research done on theatre in London