The STAND Foundation is proud to offer support to many exemplary students that show determination, courage and strength in the face of adversity; Caroline McDonald is one of those students. At nine years old Caroline was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, also known as bone cancer. Just one year after her diagnosis, Caroline had to undergo surgery to amputate her left leg above the knee; this caused her to miss a year of school and fall behind the other students. But this didn’t deter Caroline from her education, “it was difficult at first to try to readjust back into a regular school program, especially at the same time learning how to walk with a prosthetic leg.”
A few years later cancer struck the family once again, this time with Caroline’s mother being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Caroline and her family had to readjust again to deal with these new sets of challenges. Caroline rose to the challenge once again, and by the time she had reached high school she was excelling in her studies, an honor roll student and enrolled in advanced placement classes.
By her graduating year, Caroline was excelling in her school work and discovering a passion in Psychology and English.
An elective surgery took her out of school for a month, along with weekly doctor visits, but neither of those were a obstacle in Caroline’s education. She performed so well in her schoolwork that she received several credits towards her university education in advanced psychology. Caroline was also the recipient of the Terry Fox Secondary School Outstanding Personal Achievement Award.
Now in her third year attending psychology and creative writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Caroline has much to be thankful for. “The challenges our family has faced have been hard, but we’ve found ways to push through them. I’m proud to say that I have been in remission of ten years and my mother for seven. Wonderful support from our friends and family, and organizations like STAND has helped me get to where I am today.”
A $2,500 grant from the STAND Foundation has helped Caroline pursue her educational goals. “Learning that I had received the grant from STAND took away the stress of trying to pay for my first year of University. Realizing someone has noticed your hard work despite the difficulties in your life is a great feeling.”Caroline is looking forward to graduating from her programs by 2016 with a degree in Psychology and Creative Writing.