Believe in yourself
and you're half-way there!
Through Scholarships in loving memory of two of iCAN's brightest and most engaged youth members, Felix JT from KIDS Barcelona and Kate P from KIDS Chicago, iCAN provides an opportunity to support our engaged youth members that wish to travel to the iCAN Research and Advocacy Summit.
From Joan Vander Linde (Kate's Mom) 2019
"First, I want to congratulate the scholarship winners, Kalee and Mary Claire. Your video and essay were inspiring. Second, I want to thank iCAN for establishing a scholarship in our daughter Kate's memory. In everyone's life, there are certain things in it that make a true impact. In Kate's life, one obviously was her initial leukemia diagnosis and subsequent relapses. Another was iCAN. Through iCAN, Kate found her voice and her passion. Kate joined Lurie KIDS Advisory Board (KAB), iCAN's Illinois Chapter, in the beginning of her freshman year of high school. That fall, she finished three and half years of difficult treatment for leukemia. Becuase she had spent so much time at the hospital, she thought she would be a good member. From the moment she joined, she adored it and actively participated. It gave her a chance to express her opinion as to the things she liked and disliked at the hospital. Through iCAN, she gave input on pediatric clinical trials. Because her opinion was taken seriously and changes were made based on their recommendations, it also made her feel like she could make a difference. It empowered her. Unfortunately, Kate's leukemia returned in the winter of her sophomore year of high school. I truly believe that because of KAB and iCAN, Kate became a different patient the second time around. The first time, Kate wanted me to handle everything medically related. She would not even let a doctor or a nurse talk to her about her treatment without me or my husband in the room. The second time around, she took control of her treatment, including wanting me to be in on every medical discussion and arranging her own medication (a very big job). She started saying things like "my body, my decision" rather than "Mom, you decide". Through iCAN, Kate also discovered her passion for public speaking and advocating for pediatric clinical trials. Throughout her treatment, Kate benefitted from several clinical trials. Because of this, she was asked to speak at Eli Lilly's Pediatric Symposium at Lily's Headquarters in Indianapolis and the Drug Information Association Annual Meeting at McCormack Place in Chicago. From the minute her feet hit the stage, she was an amazingly engaging and relatable public speaker. She LOVED it. Kate also loved the opportunity that iCAN gave her to engage with kids all over the globe about pediatric clinical trials at iCAN Summits. We were so lucky to attend the summits in Barcelona and Orlando. At the University of Michigan (Kate's dream school), Kate was planning on taking courses that would further her ability to advocate for more pediatric clinical trials. We believe that Kate's experiences on KAB and iCAN helped her get into Michigan. They made her the type of well-rounded, unique candidate that Michigan is looking for. Kate relapsed again at the end of her freshman year at Michigan and after many complications from a stem cell transplant, passed away on Thanksgiving. To the end, Kate was a strong advocate for herself, again using skills that she learned from her participation in KAB and iCAN. We hope that all of you can benefit from your iCAN experiences like Kate did. It is an amazing organizations that not only benefits the medical community but also the young adults that belong to it."