What do you want to be when you grow up?
A Doctor A Teacher
A Lawyer an astronaut A Football Player
A Ballerina A Derivatives Analyst for a Global Investment Bank[i]
Do you remember those days? When you used to ANNOUNCE to teachers, classmates, or family members exactly what we wanted to do in the future. Okay since Cardz for Kidz! is about to celebrate its 4th birthday we can start making proclamations. We want to provide a scholarship. Here’s a story that fueled our desire:
In high school I had a 3.8 GPA and since I was a part of several extracurricular activities, I actually got into the University of Michigan on a full tuition scholarship. I remember being sooo excited when I got the letter!! I later got admitted into the Ross School of Business after my sophomore year!! On top of that, I was invited to be in some of the business school brochures!! My world was so perfect. #AMAZING
THEN EVERYTHING CRASHED.
July 12, 2004 (yeah still got the date memorized) was the first time I was rushed to the Emergency Room. After the first set of testing I was told that I had a BRAIN TUMOR. In tears I immediately went to my academic advisor and told her that I was going to take a year off. After a slew of tests including every letter in the alphabet (PET, MRI, WADA, EEG, etc), I was told that I needed to have Brain Surgery (BS). The part that was operated on is the area effecting short term memory and/or speech. After all the testing and disputes with insurance, the actual surgery took place on August 5, 2005. Because of the scholarship and fear of falling even farther behind, I decided to return to school in September 2005. However, there was a tiny bit of difficulty getting the scholarship reinstated. Thankfully I knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone that was able to expedite the process. Within a couple weeks everything was all set (to this day I’ll never forget receiving the call from school when the administrator guaranteed that he personally would look into my situation and make sure the scholarship was settled ASAP).
Studying, taking notes and doing homework less than 30 days after having the portion of the brain operated on that controls short term memory was a wee bit difficult. One thing that I’ll always remember is trying to remember the 4 P’s of marketing.
“Product, Place, Price”…..can’t remember the last one. I would read through my notes “PROMOTION”! Then I would try again. “Promotion, Place, Product”….once again couldn’t remember the final P. It took a LONG time before I was able to get all 4. That was before I tried holding on to S.T.P., Multiple/Combined targeting approach, Primary/Secondary target and a couple other distinctive characteristics. I still remember looking down at my first post-surgery exam and immediately getting disheartened. As expected my grades plummeted after the surgery; out of the 20 post surgery classes, I only got 2 A’s – both in Communications courses. Nearly half were a B- or below.
But let’s think about it. What if the surgery would have happened in high school? Then I wouldn’t have been able to play sports, while doing extracurricular activities and retaining a strong GPA. Thinking about it, I’m lucky that my scholarship and everything was ALL set before the whole brain ordeal began! I know there would’ve been no way to get any financial assistance with the grades I would’ve been able to make after my BS. Participants name was removed due to HIPAA regulations.
It is these types of stories that inspire us to start a grant/stipend/scholarship for youth who have been hospitalized for a week or more. Grades will not be the determining factor for eligibility; rather it’s the students’ desire and diligence to succeed or continue despite their hardship that will be considered.
Don’t worry we’re not getting our priorities mixed up:
We want to get more Cardz for more Kidz!. That’s our name and always our #1 goal!
In summary, uplifting the spirits of current disheartened children will always be our goal, but WHEN WE GROW UP we’d love to reach kids/former patients in more than one way.
[i] (yeah you remember that kid? We intentionally didn’t give’em pretty font or bright colors :) )