James Davis, a student at Roane State Community College from Cumberland County, has been awarded the AbbVie CF Scholarship, but he also has an opportunity to be awarded an additional $18,500 scholarship in celebration of the 21st anniversary of the AbbVie CF Scholarship Program.
The community can help Davis win the additional award by voting now through Sept. 16 online or by text. AbbVie CF will award the additional scholarship to one undergraduate and one graduate student.
Each year, AbbVie CF scholarships are awarded to deserving students living with cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems. Today, more than 45 percent of people living with CF are aged 18 or older.
This year, 40 students were awarded $2,500 scholarships for use during the 2013-'14 academic year. Davis was selected based on his academic excellence, extracurricular activities, creativity and ability to serve as a positive role model for the cystic fibrosis community.
Davis is a published author of children's books, a dance mentor and coach, entrepreneur coach, investment role model, business mentor and instructor and Cumberland County Playhouse community volunteer. He was also the keynote speaker for the 2013 Crossville home school graduation.
"The one thing I would like other people to know about CF is how difficult it is to live with this disease," Davis wrote in his online profile for the program. "I say this not because I want pity, but because few people have experienced anything as mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually altering as a life-long deadly disease. By the time I was 15, I acted like I was 30 because I had come to grips with my own mortality in a way most people never do until old age. That is a lonely realization for a teenager to have."
In patients with CF, a thick, sticky mucus is produced in certain organs throughout the body, most commonly the lungs and digestive system. The mucus build-up in the lungs can cause difficulty breathing and may lead to life-threatening lung infections. In the digestive system, the thick mucus may prevent proper food digestion.
About 30,000 children and adults in the United States are living with CF.
To place your vote for Davis, visit www.AbbVieCFscholarship.com or vote by texting VOTE12 to 23000.