CF patient at UTHSCT to be honored Wednesday for being one of 40 in U.S. to receive $2,500 SolvayCares college scholarship

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meghan Searer, 20, a patient with cystic fibrosis at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, will be recognized for being awarded a $2,500 SolvayCARES college scholarship at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, in the Red and Kim Little Conference Room on the UTHSCT campus, 11937 U.S. Highway 271 in Tyler.

She is one of just 40 people in the United States to receive this scholarship, which was created 18 years ago to honor young adults with CF as they pursue their education past high school.

The scholarships are awarded based on creativity, academic excellence, community involvement, and ability to serve as a positive role model for the CF community.

CF is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

A defective gene causes the body to make thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and causes serious lung infections. CF also hinders how the body breaks down and absorbs food.

As part of the application process, Searer submitted an original drawing.

During the Aug. 18 event, UTHSCT President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun will present her with the framed drawing and a book published by SolvayCARES with the names and profiles of the 2009 winners.

Searer also received a Rotary Club Scholarship and a Patriot Scholarship, as well as a scholarship for being valedictorian of Hawkins High School in 2008.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals, which is now part of Abbott Laboratories, funds the annual scholarships. For more than 20 years, Solvay has manufactured drugs to help people with CF manage their disease.

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