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Emily’s Story

  August 11, 2018

Youth Education Award Recipient 2014

Emily Keenan (Orleans, ON)
Pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences
Diagnosed with a dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial (DNET) tumour at 14 years old.
Generously funded by the Ultragiving Foundation in memory of James Vreugdenhill

“Since the diagnosis my life has been quite the roller coaster ride. I have travelled to multiple cities, saw many doctors, and learned way more about the medical field and myself as a person, than I could have ever imagined. One of the hardest parts of my journey thus far was recovering from surgery in 2013. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by my family and friends the entire time, which enabled me to keep a positive and optimistic mindset. In the end, things always have a way of working themselves out, everything happens for a reason.

I am extremely proud and fortunate to have received this award. Throughout my journey, I have been intrigued and curious to receive a better understanding of the unanswered questions that accompany complicated medical cases. Thanks to this generous award I will be that much closer to receiving the education I need to be able to fulfill my dream.”

August 2018 Update:

“I am currently returning for my final semester at the University of Ottawa as a full-time student, finishing up my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with Specialization in Psychology. I am also currently working as a full-time student for the government, at the Department of National Defence. I will continue working in this position part-time while I am in school.

My plan upon graduating in December is to continue working full time (hopefully with the government). I am still trying to decide if I would like to return to school to complete my Masters degree.”

May 2020 Update:

Since my last update, I have graduated from the University of Ottawa and am currently working full time with the Department of National Defence. I also recently just purchased my first home, which has been a very exciting milestone. I am extremely grateful for the support provided by the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, as well as the Ultragiving Foundation in memory of James Vreugdenhil. The generosity and encouragement provided by both of these foundations has had a significant impact on my accomplishments, which has enabled me become that much closer to achieving my goals.