We recently announced the names of all the inspiring 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients of 2022. One tradition we love about our annual scholarship program for college students with disabilities is featuring each one of them individually on the blog. We’re continuing that tradition, beginning with Isabella, who was born with spina bifida. Meet this young scholarship recipient and learn more about how her experience has shaped her life and future career goals.
Meet Isabella, 2022 Spina Bifida Scholarship Recipient
Before she was even born, the odds were stacked against Isabella. While she was still developing in her mother’s womb, doctors realized Isabella had myelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida.
According to the CDC, myelomeningocele spina bifida is one of the most serious and severe types of spina bifida. This involves a sac of fluid that appears through an opening on the back, and inside that sac are parts of the spinal cord and nerves. Myelomeningocele is a type of spinal cord damage. Because of its severe nature, it often comes with severe symptoms, such as loss of feeling and mobility in the lower half of the affected person’s body.
Isabella says her particular form of spina bifida created bladder problems for her as well as orthopedic issues and a need for a ventricular pump implant for her heart.
Isabella’s mother was told that her baby might never be able to walk and that she might not ever even develop mentally to a point where she could recognize her own mother. However, Isabella says, “They didn’t know my mother. She chose to give birth to me, knowing I had this condition. She is the one who gave me strength before I was even born.”
Isabella’s mother found a team of doctors who listened and understood, including Dr. Ben Carson, who operated on her spine the day after she was born.
“By ten months old, I was already determined. I constantly had my family walk me everywhere around the house. That’s the age when my family knew that if I was going to be trying this hard to overcome hardship, they were going to do anything to help me create a life where my disability was the beginning of my journey and not my setback,” she shares.
What’s Next for Isabella?
The next phase of Isabella’s life has begun at college this fall, and 180 Medical is so happy to be able to help college students like her afford their tuition and fees through our annual scholarship program.
“Due to the fact that on-campus schooling got too tolling to attend with my disability, I decided to go into online school in my freshman year first,” she says. “I was also presented with the opportunity to travel and be exposed to people like the Irish fashion designer Claire Garvey, who has taught me many things about fashion.”
Today, as Isabella continues her coursework at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), she also writes and maintains her own fashion blog.
We’re so excited to see how she will make her own individual mark in the fashion world, thanks to her experiences of living with spina bifida.
About the 180 Medical Scholarship Program
180 Medical has offered an annual scholarship program since 2012, helping nearly 70 students achieve their goals in college since that time.
The 2023 application period will be here before you know it (starting January 1st), so get all the details, including eligibility and more, at www.180medical.com/scholarships.