Thank You

The Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Foundation was started in 1999 to help young adults with cystic fibrosis be able to pursue their dreams of a higher education at a community college, university, or a vocational school.  My son Eric who was born with CF in 1982 was entering his senior year in high school with plans to go away to college to pursue his education.  Our family was fortunate in that despite the high costs of his care including medicine, hospital stays, etc. we were able to afford to pay for his further education.  There were many families who did not have this luxury and CFSF was founded to help those students and families.

We also wanted to encourage the young adults with CF to think about their future.  By 1999 there had been many significant medical advances that were extending life expectancy from the late teens in 1982 when Eric was born.  These advances have continued so today a baby born with CF is expected to live well into their 40’s and this continues to increase with the new medicines available.  People with CF today go to school, get married and have families.  Our son has been married since 2014.

As many of our donors know, CFSF has been a one-person operation since its inception, with no paid employees, and all the administration has been done by me. I have made the decision to cease any further fund-raising efforts and only continue to write checks for those students who have been awarded a scholarship. The Foundation made its last scholarship awards in April 2020. This was a difficult decision, but I know that our young adults with CF have many more opportunities for assistance now than 20 years ago when I began this journey.  The website includes sites to explore opportunities for scholarships.

This would not have been possible without the support you have given to our young people over the years.  I am forever grateful to you for your help in allowing over 950 young people with CF pursue their dreams of a further education. The Foundation awarded over $2 million over the 20 years. I know I speak for every one of them in thanking you for your support.

I want to thank the Scholarship Committee for all their work over the years reviewing applications and determining the scholarship recipients.  It was always a great day when we could meet and review the applications and know that we were going to be able to help young people attend college and pursue their dreams. Each year we were amazed by the quality of the applicants and all that they had accomplished while battling the effects of cystic fibrosis. We were impressed by how many of them also find the time to give back to the community in some fashion. Reading their essays, which allowed us an insight into their character, dreams, and interests, was the highlight for all of us.  We will miss those afternoons where we were able to impact the life of a young person.

I wish to express my appreciation for all of those who have helped our young adults with CF pursue their dreams during the past twenty years, especially the Board of Directors of the Foundation.

Mary Kay Bottorff