Abbott Awards Scholarships to Students Living with Cystic Fibrosis to Help Them Pursue Their Dreams

Among 40 Students, Jason Egbert Given Thriving Student Achiever Recognition

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott today awarded the 2010 Thriving Student Achiever Scholarship to Jason Egbert, a student with cystic fibrosis who demonstrates exceptional academic achievement, community service, creative and artistic talent and passion for inspiring others. Jason Egbert from Rexburg, Idaho, was selected for the Thriving Student Achiever Scholarship from a group of 40 outstanding students with cystic fibrosis (CF) who were awarded scholarships totaling $115,500 through the CFCareForward program, formerly known as SolvayCARES.

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"When I was first diagnosed at eight months old, only half of the kids with CF were expected to live past the age of 16 -- now I'm 24, married and studying to become an optometrist," said Jason Egbert, 2010 CFCareForward Thriving Student Achiever and student at Southern California College of Optometry. "CF hasn't limited my life. It's taught me how to make the best of every moment."

For 18 years, the Scholarship program has granted more than $2.1 million to exceptional students living with CF. This year 40 student finalists were selected from hundreds of applicants to receive $2,500 scholarships for use during the 2010-2011 academic year. From these 40 finalists, the 2010 Thriving Student Achiever was chosen by the general public through nearly 34,000 votes cast online, via telephone and text to receive a scholarship award totaling $18,000.

"Imagine that these kids were labeled 'failure to thrive' at birth and now, living with a disease as serious as cystic fibrosis, they are more than thriving, they are living each day to the fullest and inspiring all of us to make our dreams come true," said Donald V. Patton, senior vice president, U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Abbott. "We're pleased to recognize our Thriving Student Achiever and all of our CFCareForward Scholarship winners not only for their creativity and achievements today, but also for their efforts to inspire others and lead toward a better tomorrow."

Along with submitting their academic and community service achievements, applicants answered the question "who or what inspires you to pursue your dreams?" through an essay and artistic creation, such as a poem, song or artwork. The following is 2010 Thriving Student Achiever Jason Egbert's essay:

Married couples in their 90's that still hold hands

Painless breaths of fresh air

The underdog

Friends that push me to be better

Seeing others succeed

Cinderella Man

A good, clean joke

A pretty clean, dirty joke

Simple acts of kindness

Doctors and nurses that smile at me and call me by name

My wife's love and continual encouragement

Just kidding about the dirty joke thing

Michael J. Fox

A good challenge

When other people believe in me

Integrity, courage, sacrifice, loyalty

Advancements in medical research

Checking out of the hospital

High expectations

Cystic Fibrosis patients in their 60's

Good music

Family, coaches and teachers

Acing a test

New babies

Accomplishing goals

Dr. Seuss

Good memories

The strength that comes from my faith in God

Submissions from the 40 finalists, as well as this year's three "Honorable Mention" recipients, can be viewed online at

About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 30,000 children and adults in the U. S. In the 1950s, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school. Today, approximately 45 percent of the CF population is over the age of 18 years old, allowing many to pursue higher education.

About CFCareForward

Abbott's CFCareForward program provides comprehensive nutritional, educational and financial support for patients living with cystic fibrosis, their families and healthcare professionals. Formerly known as the SolvayCARES program, Abbott is honored to continue this 23-year-old commitment. To learn more about the CFCareForward program, please call 1-855-CARE4WD.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott information is available on the company's website at


Michelle Johnson

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