We are so proud to be able to announce our three recipients of our 2016 Bursary Awards. There were many wonderful applications this year, and we do encourage applicants who were not successful to apply again in the future.
These three recipients all have very different and inspiring stories. We will be posting their stories on our blog this week, and we thank them all for sharing their experiences and wisdom. We also wish them the best of luck in their studies!
Our third recipient, Nathalee Ewers
Pre-term birth is such a unique experience. You come into the world having already faced the struggle of survival. Your first breath is often a challenge. To me, surviving pre-term birth is a test faced very early in life. It teaches you to fight, to persevere, and to have faith in the ups and the downs. Knowing that you barely made it into this world teaches you not to take life for granted.
Early in life I was deprived of many experiences that full-term babies were able to take advantage of. I was constantly visiting doctors and specialists, doing blood tests and medical exams, falling ill, and so much more. However, with the help of my loved ones and some very well educated professionals at Women’s College Hospital, I made it through. My medical problems soon faded, and I was able to develop comfortably. My only persisting issues have been asthma and poor eyesight. For someone that weighed 2 lbs. 2 oz. at birth, I would say that is fairly impressive.
Since I was young I have been fascinated with the human body. More recently, I developed a particular interest in the human brain. It is amazing to think that despite leaving the womb 2.5 months early, my brain was able to develop normally. It is for these reasons that I am currently studying neuroscience and psychology at McMaster University in the hopes of pursuing neurology or a neuromuscular specialty. I have been fortunate enough to spend some time volunteering in a hospital setting. My first experience was at North York General Hospital in their summer student program. Most recently I volunteered with Sunnybrook Hospital’s NICU, both at their annual preemie picnic and their meet and greet sessions. The bulk of my volunteer work over the past few years has involved children. I was a volunteer coach with the Scarborough Basketball Association for about 2 years. Furthermore, I spent many years helping with the nursery at my church.
Now that I am an adult, some might say that being born premature is irrelevant, but I would say otherwise. As it turns out, the most significant life lesson I have come across might be one I learned that very first day of my life: if you will it to be done, it can be done.