Kaylee Lyn D.
2019 Scholarship Recipient
Scholarship Amount: $10,000
School: Bow Valley College
From the time I was four years old, I knew my mom was very sick. I was a terrified little girl when she had her first seizure while it was just her and I alone at our house. From there, it was all doctor appointments and hospital visits, which resulted in eventual nursing home stays. One day in June after school my father picked me up and told me that my mother had passed away.
My dad had a lot to face at this time, raising a child by himself was not going to be an easy task. The amount of money he spent while my mother was in the Fanning Centre was more than he could have expected to afford in his entire life. Through years of stress, anxiety but determination, my father somehow pulled through although barely making ends meet.
About six months before my high school graduation, my father developed a limp in his left leg. The August following my graduation, he ended up heading to emergency for a fall he had in the bathroom. The physicians discovered that my dad had the same mitochondrial disorder that my mother had, although a different mutation in the DNA. Within the ten months following, I watched my hero fall from grace. In May of 2014, my father passed away and I was devastated. My father had never caught up on his debt after my mother passed away and I always knew that we had financially been in a bind. Luckily, he did life insure the townhouse we lived in. The life insurance was enough to cover his debt and funeral, but I was still left short from his stay in the hospital and my cousin and I living at my house without him for ten months. If my parents had not passed away so young, I feel as if post-secondary education would have been more accessible for me, making it easier to start on time. I had been accepted to Mount Royal University for open studies and despite my efforts to work to cover the bills and be in school at the same time, I had to take some time off in 2016 to make money and save up to return to school. I finally returned full time in Fall 2017, although I switched schools in 2018 and I am now entering my second year at Bow Valley College with a 4.0 grade point average which I worked really hard for, hoping to transfer to The University of Calgary in fall 2020. I would hate to stop my education after my diploma, but the financial ripples are still being felt especially with increasing student loan debt. I would love to attend medical school in the future and be the doctor that my parents did not have. I am concerned that I will never make it this far for the sole reason that I will never be able to afford such a high-class dream.