Meet the 2022 Scholars

Get to know the hopes, dreams, and talents of this year's winners.

Madison L.

Undergraduate Recipient

"2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the AbbVie CF Scholarship. As we celebrate this milestone, we look forward to continuing to recognize more students pursing their educational goals. Please share your future ambitions in the Cystic Fibrosis community, professionally and personally."

Throughout my life, my focus has been on doing everything in my control to keep my lungs healthy. Medications, hospitalizations, and innovations are out of my control, but my physical fitness is not. Even before I understood Cystic Fibrosis, my parents pushed me into the swim team at 4 years old. Year round, I would spend hours in the pool working hard and coughing up immense amounts of mucus. Practice was intense, and I never really understood the benefit of the sport until I stopped doing winter swim in 5th grade. After that, I continued playing basketball and volleyball in the winter, but only swam in the summer. I began to see my lung function cycle through the year, peaking at the end of the summer, and plummeting over the winter. Although swimming was not my favorite, I began to focus on my cardio health, and engaging in activities that cleared out my lungs other than swim. I joined a CrossFit gym which got close to the intensity of swimming, and ran on my own time. Once I got to high school, I rejoined the school swim team, tried out the lacrosse team, and ran during the off season. The benefit to my lung and overall health was extremely clear, and not only ended up as a healthy CF patient, but I also was more athletic than many of my peers. Outside of that, my mom has constantly been a big part of the CF X-Treme hike. Every year she leads a team of 20 of her friends to train and endure the incredibly intense hike and raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. Because of the way I've grown up, I can recognize the extreme benefit of physical fitness to Cystic Fibrosis patients, and in turn, plan to engage in and advocate for the X-Treme hike myself. In addition to the hike itself, I will also preach the importance of cardio health for everyone who suffers from the disease, and I hope to inspire parents of CF kids to raise their kids with lifestyle such as the way my parents raised me. Finally, at the University of Mississippi I will be pursuing a career in biomedical engineering. Through this, I plan to develop a better understanding of my disease and figure out a way to make life better for patients with CF and other diseases following me. I could potentially develop a convenient way for patients to monitor their lung health at home, specifically FEV1 levels, without having to travel to the doctor's office.

Madison L.'s Artwork

Madison L.'s Achievements

  • O'Fallon Varsity Swim team, 2019-2022, captain, 2022
  • O'Fallon Varsity Lacrosse team, 2021-2022, 5 time player of the game, 2022 All-Sectional Team
  • Private swim lesson business owner and teacher, 2019-2022
  • Children's Miracle Network Ambassador 2019
  • Usher, Server, Reader for Saint Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, 2018-2022
  • Luke 18 helper, 2019-2022, senior leader and speaker, 2022
  • O'Fallon Spanish club member 2020-2022
  • Illinois State Scholar and Scholar Athlete 2022