Every year, the law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye awards three scholarships to students who maintain good grades, in spite of being diagnosed with chronic illness. Chelsea Fisk is this year’s $1,000 award recipient. To qualify for the scholarship award, she had to be accepted to or enrolled in a business, law, or medical program at an accredited US college and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. She also had to submit an essay describing her struggle with a chronic illness.
Edelman Krasin & Jaye would like to congratulate Ms. Fisk, and wish her the very best of luck in her future endeavors.
Chelsea Fisk: 2016 Scholarship award winner
“In the fall of 2013, I was someone that appeared to be, by all accounts, living the life of a highly successful high school student,” Chelsea wrote. “I was elected class president; I had just received the lead role in the school musical; I volunteered regularly in the community with organizations that I loved; I was scoring well in two of the most notoriously difficult advanced placement classes; and to top it all off, I was approaching the ACT feeling confident in myself and my studying.”
When illness struck suddenly and mysteriously, doctors thought it was a flu virus. As she fell sicker and missed days of school racked up, she knew something more was going on. Hospital tests revealed that one of her lungs had collapsed and her lower digestive tract was severely inflamed. Doctors diagnosed her with Ulcerative Colitis after two weeks in the hospital and placed her on strong medications.
The insurmountable pile of schoolwork awaited her. “It felt like the rug had been pulled out from me,” she recalled. She made a few tough choices – like dropping AP Calculus and moving to a less demanding math course. Over the years, the disease symptoms came and went. Even so, she was able to finish 13 AP courses and maintain high grades. She gained acceptance at Michigan State University, where she studies Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, as well as Theatre.
Passion discovered in the most unlikely of places
While hospitalized, Chelsea says she developed a deep interest in the work of doctors. “The hospital turned from a terrifying and painful place to a wealth of excitement, overflowing with learning and discovery. Even my disease that
seemed frightening and complex became a source of knowledge and intrigue,” she said. Chelsea hopes to one day work with sick newborns, children undergoing transplant surgery or young people with blood disorders.
“When faced with the debilitating symptoms of ulcerative colitis, it would have been so easy to just drop out of high school and maybe try for a G.E.D. later on,” remarks senior partner William T. Jaye. “But Chelsea’s love of learning, curiosity, and inner drive for success kicked into high gear. We believe she represents the brightest rising star and we wish her great luck with the rest of her academic years and beyond.”