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The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Illinois and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Announces 2014 Scholarship Recipients

May 16, 2014

Fifteen students in fourteen communities across the state awarded scholarships to support educational goals

Chicago — May 16, 2014 -- The Greater Illinois Chapter of the National MS Society has announced 15 new recipients of $1,000 college scholarships through its annual Scholarship Program. The 2014 MS scholarship recipients include:

  • Cody Bresnahan, of Minooka, is a senior at Minooka Community High School.
  • Sarah Callison, of Aurora, is a senior at Marquette Manor Baptist Academy.
  • Madison Corradi, of Arlington Heights, is a senior at Rolling Meadows High School.
  • Gregory Cox, Jr., of Havana, is a senior at Havana High School.
  • Jennifer Emmert, of Lombard, is a senior at Glenbard East High School.
  • Makenzie Hayden, of Greenup, is a senior at Cumberland High School.
  • Sean Moore, of Bloomingdale, is a senior at Lake Park High School.
  • Allison Pales, of Oswego, is a senior at Oswego High School.
  • Angela Polakowski, of Chicago, is a senior at Jones College Prep.
  • Andrew Posegay, of Glen Ellyn, is a senior at Glenbard West.
  • Kevin Rychel, of Gurnee, is a senior at Warren Township High School.
  • Addison Schwaller, of Sheridan, is a senior at the Illinois Math and Science Academy.
  • Emily Silberman, of Deerfield, is a senior at Deerfield High School.
  • Taylor Spooner, of Aurora, is a senior at Kaneland High School.
  • Melinda Troyka, of Carol Stream, is a senior at Glenbard North High School.

The program helps students affected by multiple sclerosis pursue a college or technical school education. It is open to high school seniors who live with MS or have a parent who does; or anybody living with MS who has not yet been to a post-secondary school.

In addition to the emotional toll, MS can have a substantial financial impact on a family. The direct and indirect costs of MS, including lost wages — even for those with health insurance — are estimated at more than $70,000 annually per household. This makes funding a college education that much harder.

“My mom has fought through her MS every step of the way. Five years ago, she graduated with her doctorate, teaching me that there is never a time to stop learning, no matter our circumstance,” explained Madison Corradi in her scholarship application essay. “I want to use my education to find a way to give back to all of the amazing parents and loved ones affected by this disease.”

 

Program Continues To Grow Across the Country

The Society established its scholarship program 11 years ago, and it immediately became a source of great encouragement for families concerned that MS might put college out of reach. This year, over $1.1 million in awards was presented to over 700 new and renewal recipients nationwide. Applications are evaluated on financial need, academic record, leadership and volunteer activities, a statement of educational and career goals, and letters of recommendation. Applicants are also asked to provide a personal statement describing the impact MS has had on their life. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $3,000 and typically cover one year, although a limited number of awards may exceed this amount.

“Multiple sclerosis not only has a huge impact on the individual living with the disease, but on their loved ones as well. For the hundreds of thousands diagnosed with MS across the country, there are very few known sources of scholarship assistance specially targeted for these families,” said John Blazek, President of the Greater Illinois Chapter. “MS shouldn’t stand in the way of an education, and we are hopeful this program will give families some relief.”

Information about scholarships for 2015-16 will be available on the National MS Society Web site on October 1st. For more information, call 1-800-344-4867 or visit www.nationalMSsociety.org/scholarship.  

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About the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS across a 73-county territory, starting at the Wisconsin-Illinois border and extending south through the northern and central areas of Illinois, and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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