Waterford Teen Awarded National MS Society Scholarship
By Megan Alexander, Public Relations Intern, National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter
Burdick became her mother’s primary caretaker in her home and, although her mother’s condition has since improved, Burdick has learned to help her mom inject her weekly shot, and oversees many other chores around the house.
“Seeing my mother every day triumphing in her battle with MS is my greatest inspiration,” says Burdick.
“I would consider myself successful in life if I could do what my mother’s doctors have done for her: provide patients with surgeries and treatments that would save them or better their quality of life,” Burdick says.
A native of Waterford, Conn., Burdick is a member of the Medical Careers Club, Class Council and Key Club. She also volunteers and shadows at a local hospital. She has competed internationally in French at an event in Quebec called International Comp Dictee des Ameriques. Graduating this spring from Waterford High School, Burdick is planning to attend the University of Connecticut, Avery Point Campus in Groton, Conn., as a biology major.
“It is a pleasure to, along with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, award this scholarship to such a bright and compassionate young woman,” says Lisa Gerrol, president and chief professional officer of the Connecticut Chapter. “Ms. Burdick has demonstrated an exceptional ability to aptly express the challenges facing a family affected by MS, while remaining hopeful and positive.”
More then 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Melissa Burdick, battle the potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. There is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted. Funds donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure. These funds also provide for vital programs and services offered by the chapter to those in the state living with multiple sclerosis.
Upon receiving the letter announcing her award, Burdick’s excitement could be heard around the neighborhood.
The National MS Society Scholarship program is offered yearly to vocational, technical or college-bound, high school seniors diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or whose parent has MS. Applications can be downloaded by going to http://www.nationalmssociety.org/ <http://ctn.nationalmssociety.org/> . For more information, please contact the Connecticut Chapter at 860-714-2300 or visit http://www.ctfightsms.org/ <http://www.ctfightsms.org/> .
NOTE TO MEDIA
For More Information
Contact Karen Butler
Vice President of Communications
Phone: 860.714.2300, ext. 230