Rachel V.

Undergraduate 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."

Going away to college was a bittersweet experience. While I was so excited to taste the freedom and independence that came with being away from home, I was sad to leave my family and nervous to be solely responsible for keeping myself healthy. My parents did as much as they could to help me maintain my exceptional health at the time, by washing my nebulizers, filling my prescriptions, and scheduling my appointments. Now, I had to trust that I was capable of doing everything on my own. I began college and felt I was succeeding in my transition. I was able to complete all of the tasks that were once my parents’, even though I lived the hectic life of a vocal performance major with concerts at every turn. My good streak ended during finals week of first semester, however, as I became extremely sick. I struggled through, and although I kept excellent grades, my health declined. At my doctor’s appointment during Christmas break, I weighed 102 pounds and my lung function dropped 16 percent. I’d neglected to maintain my high calorie diet and frequent exercise. I spent my entire break regaining my health, and I worked twice as hard as I had previously my second semester. I was able to finish with outstanding health and academics. While CF is a huge challenge that sometimes knocks me down, I have to get up and push forward because I know the future is bright and the cure is on the horizon.


Rachel V.'s Artwork

Rachel V.'s Achievements

  • Performed at Carnegie Hall with the Virginia Tech Choirs, 2017
  • Member of multiple Honor Societies, including NHS, Mu Alpha Theta (Math), Rho Kappa (History), NEHS (English), and the International Thespian Society (Theatre), 2014-2016
  • Grassfield High School Chamber Chorus, Choral Student Board librarian, 2013-2016
  • Grassfield High School Theatre Company, speaking role in 3 plays, 2014-2016
  • Virginia Tech Dean's List both semesters, 2016-2017
  • Music Student Scholar Award for District Chorus- placed 3rd alto in the district, 2014
  • Vacation Bible School Drama Leader, 2013-2015
  • Spanish Summer Enrichment teacher, 2015
  • Volunteered in the community with Union Mission and Dalia Tri-Hi-Y service club, 2013-2016
  • Principal's Award for Academic Achievement, 2015, 2016