My daughter is a childhood cancer survivor. Navigating life post-treatment has been its own journey.
November marks our 7-year anniversary of our daughter, Aleyna, being declared NED (no evidence of disease) from her first-grade battle with Wilm’s Tumor. This milestone has been especially nostalgic for me as I send my youngest daughter off to the same school. And in the same grade that Aleyna was in when we first received the cancer diagnosis.
As I walk briskly through the paved entrances and down through the first-grade corridors, I can almost feel the sense of panic and worry that I felt 7 years ago. The constant need to connect with her teacher to see how she’s feeling. And randomly drop by the school office to bring her extra water. That was an intense year for us – a year without AYSO and afterschool playdates. A year that instead included extensive doctor appointments, a constant state of nausea (for both my daughter and my pregnant self), hair loss and social issues.
Fast-forward to today.
Aleyna is in middle school and she is truly thriving. She is 5’6 with long, flowing hair, she is a straight-A student, and she plays competitive soccer. As I reminisce back to her elementary years and look at the grief-stricken mother that I was, uncertain of what her future held, I could not be more proud and more grateful.
Next year, we will be off to high school and, soon after, preparing for college.
Though I’m way ahead of myself here, the overprotective and over-prepared parent in me is already encouraging her to check out potential campuses. Google’s amazing telepathic technology has me targeted to receive ads on possible scholarship opportunities, and that had me thinking about what specific types of scholarships she might qualify for – academic, athletic, unique, student-specific – hmmm, student-specific? After researching a little on what the qualifications were for that particular type of scholarship, I noticed a category for “cancer survivor.” Well, this information is too good not to share.
Check out these 10 organizations below that offer scholarships for childhood cancer survivors, patients – and some even offer financial relief to their siblings!
Scholarships.com offers a wealth of knowledge on the different types of scholarships, the qualifications for each scholarship, the availability of scholarships in each category, and more. This is a great place to start as you set forth in your financial aid journey.
Cancer Survivors Fund scholarships are granted for the college education of cancer survivors. Recipients are selected by a committee based on applicants’ personal hardship and financial need.
Cancer for College provides hope and inspiration by granting need-based college scholarships and educational experiences to cancer survivors.
Nicki Leach Foundation provides funding to high school and college students ages 16-25 with cancer. The awards include but are not limited to scholarships to help pay for college.
National Collegiate Cancer Foundation was established to provide services and support to young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer and who have continued with their education throughout treatment or after their treatment. NCCF offers $1,000 competitive awards.
Friends of Scott Foundation (Friends to Children With Cancer) offers a scholarship each year to cancer patients currently on treatment or to survivors who are California residents.
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation scholarship program eases the financial hardships of a childhood brain tumor diagnosis and helps survivors thrive by empowering them to reach their career goals. PBTF seeks to meet the educational needs of brain tumor survivors who will attend college and also to assist survivors who have other career aspirations including vocational, trade or technical degrees/certificates.
Patient Advocate Foundation’s Scholarship for Survivors program supports young adults whose educational pursuits have been tragically disrupted due to the cost of care centered around their cancer diagnosis or chronic disease. The scholarship program provides academic support to individuals that are legal residents of the United States of America, who have been diagnosed with or treated for cancer or a critical or chronic disease.
The National Children’s Cancer Society’s Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship Program awards fifty-eight college scholarships each year to childhood cancer survivors who have demonstrated the ability to overcome the difficult challenges of cancer with determination and motivation.
Ulman Foundation is dedicated to creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer. They offer scholarships to help young adults (ages 15-39) continue their education after their own cancer diagnosis or the diagnosis of a loved one.
Know of other scholarships for cancer survivors? Want to share your experiences or ask some questions? We’d love to hear from you…Comment below!
The UpBeat podcast is powered by CoachArt, a nonprofit organization that provides FREE art and athletic activities to families impacted by any childhood chronic illness – such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, cancer, cerebral palsy and more.
If you have a child that may qualify for CoachArt programs, visit: CoachArt.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roxanne is CoachArt’s marketing director, The UpBeat podcast co-host, and a mother to a childhood cancer survivor. Her vast experience in marketing, coupled with her real-life parenting journeys, brings a unique perspective to The UpBeat content. Roxanne majored in communications at Northeastern University and resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their 3 children.