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2017 Scholarship Recipients


Sierra Long

Sierra Long graduated from Mastery Charter Shoemaker Campus in June 2017 with a 3.9 GPA. Sierra was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease at birth. After dealing with the condition for several years, she took a keen interest in learning more about the disease and has developed an affinity for healthcare. Her goal is to become either a doctor or a nurse so that she can help treat future kidney disease patients. Her personal experience with the disease leads her to want to be on the helping end. 


Despite her disease, she’s managed to be a well-rounded young woman. Some of her high school involvement included Student Government Association and Lacrosse Team- Manager. Sierra is attending Saint Joseph’s University studying Nursing.


Steven Valkdenburgh

Steven graduated from Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School in June 2017 with a 4.0 GPA. His family has been impacted by Kidney disease.  Stephen’s mother is currently in Kidney failure and is down to 20% Kidney function and she’ll likely start dialysis within months. As she continues to battle the disease, Steven continues to maintain a positive attitude and supports her daily. Steven is attending Hofstra University, majoring in Journalism, with a minor in business.


Zoey Lussier

Zoey Lussier graduated North Penn High School in June 2017. Her battle with Kidney disease started during her last year of middle school. At the time she was a student athlete and hoped that she would be treated quickly and be able to return to softball and swim club. Six weeks later, after being diagnosed with stage four renal failure, she realized that the process would be longer than she had hoped. She quickly began dialysis at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She later began dialysis at home and began high school.  Halfway through her 10th grade year, her mother was able to donate one of her kidneys to Zoey. 


This amazing act tremendously improved Zoey’s quality of life. She spent several weeks recovering at home and began to feel significantly better. Although she continued to face health challenges throughout her high school years she managed to overcome them all and has grown to be a strong and ambitious young woman. Zoey is attending Montgomery County Community College, majoring in the health science field.


Hannah Paul

Hannah Paul graduated from J. R. Masterman High School. Her uncle was impacted by kidney disease at a young age. He managed to lead an active lifestyle until he turned 50 at which point the disease also lead to cardiac issue. He began the dialysis treatment. For the past year, he has been on the transplant waiting list for a new kidney. After searching for months and months, the best match happened to be his own wife. In January 2017, he went into surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital to undergo the process which was successful. 


In spite of the impact that kidney disease has had on her family, Hannah has managed to be a great scholar. She graduated with a 4.02 GPA and participates in clubs ranging from bible club to peer counseling mentor groups and even participated in several varsity sports teams in addition to volunteering in the community. Hannah is attending University of Miami, majoring in Neuroscience.

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