Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Matter of Great Importance

Okay guys, this is me.

No, I am not posting this so you can laugh at the puffy doctoral hat (although it is one of the weirder traditions in academia, I'll admit). No, I don't think I look awesome in "Columbia University Blue" (although I look darn good in the Columbia hospital gowns, if I do say so myself). And, believe it or not, I am also not posting this to showcase the goofy smiles my family tends to adopt in posed "proud moment" photographs (although that could be a post in and of itself, I promise).

Honestly, I'm posting this picture because it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Because it captures the day when I graduated from law school, CF and all. It captures my family (sans my wonderful sister, who may well have been behind the camera for this picture), and goofy smiles and all, it captures an instant we'd all dreamed about since I was young enough to toddle around starting arguments with people.

And, I'm also posting this because it relates to all of you.

I recently received this message in my inbox:

I came upon your blog and after reading “Quality Control” from March 7th and seeing the way your parents stressed education and encouraged you to pursue your dreams, I thought you and your online followers might be interested to hear that the 2010 SolvayCARESSM Scholarship contest is now open for applications through May 15, 2010 at www.SolvayCARESScholarship.com.

The SolvayCARESSM Scholarship was created to honor young adults with cystic fibrosis as they pursue goals of post-high school education. In 2010, 40 SolvayCARESSM Scholarship recipients will be announced, and each one will receive $2,500 for use during the upcoming academic year. To celebrate the 18th year of the SolvayCARESSM Scholarship, this year's Thriving Student Achiever will be awarded $18,000 in place of the $2,500 standard award.

Please feel free to post this contest information on your blog and share it with your community as you see fit. You can find complete information on the scholarship at www.SolvayCARESScholarship.com, including a link to the 2010 scholarship application.

I personally know people who have participated in this scholarship, and I know it can mean a world of difference for CFers interested in pursuing college or graduate school. This year, as you can all see, it is even bigger. I can't stress enough what an honor it is for me to share this link, to encourage the CF community to go out there and get that degree you never thought you'd live to see, or that your doctor told you might not be possible, or that you just never had time to pursue. Because let me just tell you all, without hesitation, that these past few months have taught me the truth of what I always considered a pretty tired and overused cliche:

There's no time like the present. Seriously.

I hope all of you will consider applying, and even more that you'll consider (with gusto) all of the many, many options open to CFers when it comes to life, education, and career. And, perhaps selfishly, I hope that you'll all take lots of pictures along the way.


  1. That's an awesome opportunity Piper! I can think of a couple CFers who could use it! Thank you for posting!

    Hope you're doing well & back to full strength!

  2. Yey I had this scholarship when I was in grad school - it was EXTREMELY helpful!

  3. Hey, i was actually looking at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website and saw that there are a couple of other scholarships available to people with CF-I was just about to email you this resource when i saw the post. Here is the site: http://www.cff.org/LivingWithCF/Scholarships/

    I am glad you were able to spend Easter with the whole family. Sending everyone my love (especially you of course and Dad, with the busted lip :)

  4. I got a CF scholarship too! It was not this one, but it helped SO much! Great post!

  5. I am in the midst of writing about my graduation from college...so funny! ANY KIND of post high school graduation is such a plus for us. As treatments get better and we learn more about this disease, we will live long and productive lives which includes careers as lawyers (wink wink), social workers, nurses, teachers, film making, or whatever you set your mind to. There are ways to do it. Thank goodness for scholarships!

  6. Amen, sister! I'm graduating with my B.A. in 4 weeks... a 13 year process with CF, working, getting married, buying a house, and starting a business.

    That will be my proudest day with my wedding day being my happiest day.

    Everyone, get yer education! Don't live in mommy's basement. /grin

  7. Love this pic. I'm beaming with pride all the way from the midwest. Hope you can feel the love coming your way.

  8. I also recieved this scholarship as an undergrad, many moons ago and it was very helpful to my family and me. As with you, my upcoming M.A. graduation will be a very very proud moment for so many reasons, CF being just one, but a big one.