Jun 24, 2013
Contributed by Molly Sweeney
OXFORD, Conn. — Allison L. Curnan, of Oxford, has received the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s 2013 Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Fund Scholarship.
Curnan, 17, a graduate of Oxford High School, will attend Naugatuck Valley Community College in the fall to earn general education credits.
Curnan is a member of the Explorer Post 108, which is a part of the Oxford Ambulance Association. As a member of the Explorer Post 108, Curnan routinely joins EMT staff on medical calls. She is also CPR-certified and has taken EMT courses.
After her father, Earl Curnan, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Allison Curnan, then a high school freshman, gave up most extracurricular activities at school. Instead, the high school freshman began working at Stop and Shop in Monroe to help support her family financially.
Curnan has aspirations of pursuing a career in the fields of education or business and fashion. The ambition of pursuing education has developed from helping people, especially her family. To Allison Curnan, helping her family is a daily occurrence. She helps make dinner, does laundry and picks her mom up from work.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Earl Curnan, have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis generally affects women more than men and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the limbs, difficulties with speech and vision and, in some severe cases, complete paralysis. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.
Curnan was recognized by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, at its annual Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship Reception, which was held at the Country Club of Farmington, Thursday, June 6. She is one of 16 high school graduates receiving a 2013 scholarship from the Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Scholarships are made possible through the Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Fund, which specifically supports the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapters family programs. The fund was established in July 2007 by the family to honor the memory of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who had MS, and her daughters Hayley and Michaela, who were active with the chapter helping raise funds to support scientific research for a cure.
“Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me because I didn’t think I would be able to go to school,” shared Curnan. “The reason why I am going to Naugatuck Valley Community College is because without the scholarship I would not have even been able to afford to attend college.”
Scholarship applications for the 2014 school year will be available online in October. For more information on MS or for additional information on 2014 MS scholarship criteria, please contact the Connecticut Chapter at 860-913-2550 or visit www.ctfightsMS.org.
Molly Sweeney, of Hebron, is a sophomore at Assumption College, located in Worcester, Mass. Sweeney is volunteering with the Communications Department of the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter.