Today, we’re excited to introduce the first of our 2017 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients, Megha Kalyan.
Since 2012, when our scholarship program was first established by our founder, Todd Brown, we have been diligent in taking care and time to read through all of the amazing essays sent in by our applicants. As always, it was difficult for our Scholarship Committee to narrow it down to just seven people in the end, as there are so many inspiring students ready to make their impact on the world, but we are so proud to be able to offer this well-deserved scholarship award to the finalists.
Megha Was Born With Spina Bifida
Megha was born with Spina Bifida, which is one of the most common neural tube defects at birth.
According to the CDC, about 1,500 babies are born each year with spina bifida. Spina Bifida doesn’t present exactly the same conditions in every single person, depending upon the severity.
In Megha’s case, she was nearly over one year old before her parents discovered she had Spina Bifida. Because of their great love for their daughter, they left everything they had ever known in India after her diagnosis and immigrated to the United States to get the best medical care for Megha.
Despite having a condition that requires her to use crutches and ankle-foot orthotics, Megha says that her parents kept their expectations high for her in every aspect.
Through their guidance and her experiences at school, she came to a realization that “the only obstacles that really mattered were the obstacles I created in my mind.” Even with 3 major surgeries that kept her out of school for months each time, she never let it hold her back from her biggest goal: working toward a career in medicine.
A Future Career in Medicine is Ahead for Megha
A huge influence on Megha’s life and her decision to pursue a career as a doctor was her Pediatric Orthopedic surgeon.
“I was always amazed how he had the ability to give children a much better quality of life,” Megha says. In addition, he treated her with compassion and care while being a perfectionist in his role as a surgeon. This ultimately led to her career choice.
Megha is working toward that goal by majoring in Biology right now. Also, she hopes to someday join the Peace Corps. She hopes to help other young children living with disabilities in other countries.
Megha’s drive to succeed is truly impressive. We also love seeing her dedication to helping heal others.
Good luck in your first semester of school at the University of Virginia, Megha! We know you will positively impact the world in the future!
About the 180 Medical Spina Bifida Scholarship
We hope you enjoy reading a little bit about each of our 2017 180 Medical Scholarship recipients.
180 Medical offers a scholarship program each year to help students afford college. This scholarship is not only available to students with spina bifida. It’s also open to college students with spinal cord injury, transverse myelitis, an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder.
We know students with disabilities often face additional financial hurdles. That’s why we created our scholarship program.
Find out more details and apply online at our Scholarship page.