Ahead of the 2020 AbbVie IBD Scholarship deadline, we caught up with our past recipients to learn about life after receiving the scholarship and the impact it has had.
Taylor was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2018 but didn’t let being sick stop them from aspiring to excellence. Three degrees, stage performances, and a few publications later, Taylor received the AbbVie IBD Scholarship in 2019 and is currently pursuing their PhD at Memorial University.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the debut album they are making.
An incredibly talented writer and performer, Taylor is an avid fighter for inclusive communities, advocating for those who have chronic illnesses and gender variances.
What have you done or are currently doing with the Crohn’s and colitis community?
I am doing my best to make connections with not only those that suffer specifically from IBD, but anyone with auto-immune and other chronic illnesses. Trying to connect with others is what allows us to open conversations that helps us to live sustainably. It’s these conversations, about what it’s like to live with various autoimmune diseases – especially ones where we might feel uncomfortable– they are what create an amazingly inclusive community as they allow us to truly connect with those experiencing similar hardships. I have been connecting with people over social media through Facebook posts and groups as well as in person at places like my infusion clinic. Forming community is so essential for healthy, fulfilled, and connected living.
How has receiving the AbbVie IBD Scholarship impacted your journey through school?
Thanks to the Abbvie scholarship, I was able to pick up course work at a proper pace, while also being able to relax – as much as a university student can, of course! By not needing to have a part-time job, I was able to focus more on my wellness and other areas of my life – such as school, diet and getting proper rest. As a PhD student, the financial burdens one can face can be overwhelming, which is why I’m grateful for this Scholarship program. And my debut album I’m working on? The alleviation of the scholarship has helped me put more focus on this.
What advice do you have for students who are thinking of applying for the scholarship?
Definitely apply! I remember seeing the poster for this in the end of June, and put a little note in my calendar because I thought that maybe for once it could pay to be sick!
Do not be humble when you apply – put your best foot forward! Share all the ways you are surviving the trials that being ‘sick’ has caused you. And if you got rejected the year before – doesn’t mean you’ll be rejected again! Just do it!
To learn more about the AbbVie IBD Scholarship and submit your application, click here.