AA&MDSIF College Scholarships
Making Educational Dreams Come True
Congratulations to the 2013-2014 Matthew Debono Scholarship winners! Read the profiles of these 15 remarkable young people.
For young people fighting diseases like aplastic anemia, MDS, or PNH, the cost of medical bills for them and/or their families can make it financially difficult to afford higher education and follow their dreams. These students must often interrupt their studies due to their health condition and treatments, and may not be able to work additional jobs and save money for college, or participate in extracurricular activities that would make them eligible for various scholarships. The side effects of the diseases, including extreme fatigue, take a toll emotionally and physically.
In recognition of the enormous effort and courage of those young people fighting bone marrow failure diseases, several families in recent years have made it possible for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS Foundation (AA&MDSIF) to provide college scholarships to undergraduate, graduate, and vocational students.
Debono Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1986 by Sally and Manuel
Debono whose son, Matthew, died from aplastic anemia and was never able to
complete his college degree. To date, 68 students affected by bone
marrow failure disease have received Debono scholarships to continue their
education. In 2012, the Debono family began a partnership with AA&MDSIF as administrators
of the scholarship program.
The Debono Scholarship Fund replaces the Harry Carson Scholarship Fund. Thanks to the generosity of NY Giants Hall of Fame football player, Harry Carson and his fans, in 2008-09 and 2011-12 combined, AA&MDSIF provided 26 scholarships through his scholarship fund. Carson’s son, Donald, was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia in 2005, just five days after graduating from college with a biology degree. Dr. Donald Carson recently graduated from medical school and has now begun his residency.
For many of these students, their academic and career pursuits are a direct reflection of their experiences as a patient. Many choose careers in the health sciences or a profession where they can give back to make life better for someone else. They are all bright young faces – made all the more exuberant by having a second chance at life.
Applications for 2014/2015 will be available in March 2014.
- Read the profiles and quotes of 2013 Matthew Debono Memorial Scholarship recipients
- They are tenacious fighters. They believe that the disease cannot beat them.
- The disease has made them stronger people. They are using their disease as a motivating experience.
- Positive thinking is one of the keys to overcoming their disease.
- Other children they have encountered during their treatment who lost their battle have influenced them. In some cases, they have dedicated their lives to those friends.
- It is the support of family and friends that ultimately got them through their ordeal.
- Most wish to pursue careers in which they can give back. It’s their way of wanting to help those who are going through similar situations.
- Read the profiles and quotes of AA&MDSIF's 2012 Matthew Debono Memorial Scholarship recipients.
- Read the profiles and quotes of AA&MDSIF’s 2011 Harry Carson Scholarship recipients.
Create a Legacy Fund to Honor or Remember Your Loved One
AA&MDSIF depends on the generosity of patients, parents, family members, and friends to fund our valuable educational programs and services, as well as special projects such as college scholarships, research grants, and so many more. Learn more about the programs and services that you can help fund on the Major Gifts Opportunity List.
Whether you make the donation yourself, or you and your family decide to raise funds until you reach your goal, creating a named fund can make a major impact on AA&MDSIF research programs, patient education and support services, awareness and advocacy activities. AA&MDSIF staff are available to help you make an impact in this way. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact contact our Senior Director of Resource Development Pamela Spears at (301) 279-7202 x122.
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