The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a leader in the area of academic scholarships and transplant grants for individuals with cystic fibrosis. With the creation of a scholar-athlete award to assist those CF high school athletes pursuing an undergraduate degree, BEF is yet again on the cutting edge of cystic fibrosis support and education. A CF patient’s quality of life and lifespan increase dramatically through the power of daily exercise, especially jogging and/or running. As therapeutic developments increase the lifespan of CF patients, so does the need for further education about the benefits of exercise.
Jerry Cahill, a 56 year old living, breathing, and succeeding with cystic fibrosis stresses the importance of exercise: “Doctors and CF centers talk about it, but we need to get everyone with CF doing it – your lungs are muscles and need to be worked to keep them clear and strong. Besides being compliant to medication and therapy routines, exercise should be a part of everyone’s daily routine.”
The Exercise for Life Scholar-Athlete Scholarship is a $10,000 award given annually to one male and one female athlete-scholar who shows exceptional academic accomplishment and athletic ability in the area of running. Grants are made directly to the academic institution to assist in covering cost of tuition and fees.
2012 Female Recipient
Emily Nickels is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in St. Louis, Missouri, where she participated in softball, basketball, and soccer while maintaining a 4.2 cumulative GPA. Among her various awards, Nickels was listed as a gold honor roll student annually and was a St. Louis Post Dispatch Scholar Athlete.
Emily is able to live, breathe, and succeed with cystic fibrosis by remaining compliant to her medical, therapeutic, and exercise routines. She is now attending the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, where she plans to learn the skills necessary to assist people in understanding their medications as well as the importance of taking them to remain healthy. Cystic fibrosis and its necessary treatments and therapies has given her a unique insight into the importance of a knowledgeable pharmacist.
To continue her dedication to her own physical health, Emily plans to train for a half marathon. She feels it is an exciting challenge and realized that running is an essential part of living with cystic fibrosis: “It will continue to make me a stronger and also a more confident person. Running, along with my daily medications and treatments, will keep my healthy.”
2012 Male Recipient
“I am healthy because of my fight, because of my daily compliance to medical therapies. To this day, doctors are still stumped because I’m nothing like the stereotypical CF patient. I have a 98% lung function. On a good day, I can run a mile in under 5 minutes, which is totally unheard of when it comes to most CF patients. Now that I am older and have taken on this fight, I am faced with a massive amount of responsibility. I accept it because I determined to be like everyone else.”
Clayton Roll is a graduate of Quincy Student High School, where he was a 4 year letter winner in Cross Country and Track, as well as being named Captain of both teams his senior year, and was given the special honor of being named the Quincy Blue Devil Mascot his senior year. Outside of school, Roll was a member of Key Club and held jobs at Jimmy Johns, the YMCA, and operated his own neighborhood lawn service. In spite of his busy schedule and sincere commitment to all of his activities, Clayton graduated with a 3.0 GPA and was accepted to Webster University where he plans to study communications with a focus on media production and photography.