Recognizing academic achievementin the rare disease community

2014 Recipient

2014 Recipient



18 years old
Parkersburg, West Virginia

High school:Parkersburg High School
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Graduated June 2014.

College:Johns Hopkins University.
Fall 2014.

Rare disorder:
Hereditary Angioedema. I was diagnosed within weeks of being born. My mom has Hereditary Angioedema so I was tested early. I’ve always known I’ve had it and started to have attacks as a toddler. I have been in the emergency room a lot and missed around 30 days of school each year.  

Favorite subjects: 
I’ve enjoyed math and science and also Spanish throughout High School. I really liked physics this year. We got to be really independent and I learned more in this class than any other. 

Favorite activities: 
Choir has been a big part of my life. We practiced a lot outside of school, and every spring we went out of town for competitions. This past year we went to New York City. It was my first time in NYC and we either won or placed highly in each event. I also did cross country and track and will probably continue to do those for the rest of my life. 

Academic and professional plans: 
I plan on studying material science and pre-med at Johns Hopkins. Having Hereditary Angioedema was definitely a factor in my interest in medicine. I’ve been around doctors growing up and have always been interested in learning about diseases. At this point I’d like to go to medical school, but I’m open to other experiences based on my undergraduate work. I’m also interested in material science which is the study of what things are made of. It is really versatile and multi-disciplinary and relies on different sciences such as chemistry and math. 

Proudest moment to date: 
When I found out I got into Johns Hopkins. When I visited the school I knew it was my dream school. It is not too far from home and it feels like a tight knit community where everyone supports each other. I saw people my age working on ground breaking stuff. I was at school at 3pm when the Johns Hopkins website opened to show acceptances. I was so nervous all day waiting to find out. It was the coolest moment ever!

How I found out I was the ACES 2014 recipient: 
I was at my grandparents and my mom called me. She had received the award letter and was so happy. I told my whole family and everyone was super excited.

Advice for students applying for ACES next year: 
In the essay, try and show how the hardships you have endured have led you to be where you are today. Try and show how having a rare disease and coping with it has made you want to succeed in the future, and that having a rare disease can also inspire you. 

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