InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarship Program – 2013 Winners

Five Canadian students were awarded the InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarship in recognition of their commitment to preserve the memory of a loved one affected by Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a rare lung condition. Despite their families’ hardships, these students have excelled both personally and academically. Their stories of perseverance in pursuing their ambitions and dreams have often been attributed to their loved ones’ passions and teachings. The InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarship has awarded five educational grants of up to $2,500.00 CDN to help students reach their current goal of completing their post-secondary education and upholding their family legacy.

1. Ashley Croke, Logy Bay, Newfoundland

Ashley Croke IPF Legacy Photo

Ashley Croke, undergraduate student currently pursuing her Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at Memorial University, has been awarded one of the five 2013 InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarships. Croke’s mother was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF),a rare, progressive and life-limiting lung disease that has a higher mortality rate than most cancers and yet, few Canadians know the tremendous burden that this disease causes to both individuals and families affected by it.

In early 2011, Croke and her family abruptly discovered that her mother had end-stage lung failure due to IPF. Over the next year and a half, they supported her mother while she endured extensive health hurdles, including three open-heart surgeries and culminated in a double lung transplant. “I wish to continue my mother’s legacy of promoting positive thinking and attitude with families struggling with IPF and lung diseases,” shares Croke. “I hope to one day work as part of a hospital lung transplant team.”

2. Kyla Gourdeau, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

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Kyla Gourdeau, nursing student at the University of British Columbia, has been awarded one of the five 2013 InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarships. Gourdeau’s grandmother was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a rare, progressive and life-limiting lung disease that has a higher mortality rate than most cancers and yet, few Canadians know the tremendous burden that this disease causes to both individuals and families affected by it.

Gourdeau upholds her grandmother’s philosophies of selflessness and compassion as a nurse, nurturing the relationship between healthcare providers and patients. “Caring for a person with a debilitating disease has allowed me to understand and emphasize with other families coping with very difficult situations,” says Gourdeau. “I honour my grandmother’s legacy every day by showing other families care and compassion as her nurses did.”

 3. Christine Mould, Fort Nelson, British Columbia

ChristineMould_headshot2Christine Mould, fourth year student at the Alberta College of Art + Design, has been awarded one of the five 2013 InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarships. Mould’s father was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a rare, progressive and life-limiting lung disease that has a higher mortality rate than most cancers and yet, few Canadians know the tremendous burden that this disease causes to both individuals and families affected by it.

Diagnosed in February 2012, he lost his battle with IPF in July of that year. Mould has since continued her schooling and contributed free time to fundraising for IPF. “Living a meaningful life was always important to my dad. He encouraged us to keep being ourselves, continue living and find our own happiness,” says Mould. “I have stayed true to his passion for life. I know my dad would be proud of me.”

4. Brittany Fitzgerald, Calgary, Alberta

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Brittany Fitzgerald, a second year University of Ottawa economics student has been awarded one of the five 2013 InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarships. Fitzgerald’s grandmother was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease they had witnessed six other family members combat. IPF is a rare, progressive and life-limiting lung disease that has a higher mortality rate than most cancers and yet, few Canadians know the tremendous burden that this disease causes to both individuals and families affected by it.

Brittany Fitzgerald’s grandmother passed away January of this year. “My grandmother is an inspiration to me and an amazing role model, especially after her IPF diagnosis, she was strong, courageous and always strived to live in the moment. I carry her strength with me everyday,” beams Fitzgerald. “I am grateful for this scholarship; I know that my grandmother would be proud.”

5. Jaclyn Shelton, Calgary, Alberta

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Jaclyn Shelton, a second year kinesiology student at the University of British Columbia, has been awarded one of the five 2013 InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarships. Shelton’s grandmother was recently diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a rare, progressive and life-limiting lung disease that has a higher mortality rate than most cancers and yet, few Canadians know the tremendous burden that this disease causes to both individuals and families affected by it.

Shelton is no stranger to rare diseases without a known cause; she underwent full hip replacement surgery to combat one herself. Once an avid volunteer in Calgary Community, Shelton’s grandmother now requires constant oxygen support. “I have witnessed first-hand how diseases like IPF can change the lives of families and force personal goals aside,” says Shelton. “It’s for this reason that I’ve decided to pursue a degree in sports medicine, I hope to be a source of hope, optimism and compassion to families experiencing health issues.”

The InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarship aims to assist individuals living with IPF and their families reduce their financial stress, reach their goals and continue their family legacy. “IPF is a disease that is still very much unknown by the general public and we hope that sharing these stories with others, we can shed some light on a devastating disease,” shares Robert Davidson, President of the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and Member of the InterMune IPF Legacy Scholarship Program Selection Committee.

The IPF Legacy Scholarship Program is supported by InterMune Canada, Inc. in partnership with the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (CPFF) and the Canadian Lung Association. More information about the IPF Legacy Scholarship can be found at www.cpff.ca.

 For any questions regarding the IPF Legacy Scholarship, please contact ipflegacy@cpff.ca