North Tama alumna Grace Lidgett in running for $22K scholarship

Determination and hope continue to guide Redhawk runner

TRAER – North Tama Class of 2023 graduate Grace Lidgett – a triple state cross country and state track qualifier – is now running in a different kind of race, a scholarship race for those with Cystic Fibrosis.

Currently a freshman at Grace College at Winona Lake, Ind., Lidgett was one of 40 undergraduate students selected for the AbbVie CF Scholarship – a $3,000 scholarship funded by the pharmaceutical company AbbVie that recognizes exceptional students with Cystic Fibrosis who demonstrate academic excellence, community involvement, creativity, and the ability to serve as a positive role model for the Cystic Fibrosis community.

As one of 40 recipients, Lidgett is now also in the running for the Thriving Student Scholarship which would provide an additional $22,000. The recipient will be chosen through a nationwide vote conducted both by text and online that ends on Wednesday, Sept. 27 with the winner announced on Oct. 2.

“The extra $22,000 would be amazing,” Lidgett’s mother, Amy Lidgett told the Telegraph over the weekend, “but we know there are a lot of deserving candidates.”

As part of Lidgett’s application for the scholarship, she was asked to write a personal essay and create a short video, both of which can be viewed online via the following link which also provides instructions for voting: https://www.abbviecfscholarship.com/profiles/2023/grace-l


Lidgett’s essay is a letter written to her 12-year-old self, part of which is excerpted below.

Dear Twelve-Year-Old Grace,

I remember the night you cried in your room for hours trying to figure out if college was a realistic option given your life expectancy. …

That night was spent staring at the information telling you your life expectancy was 32 years and trying to figure out how to get a degree, start a career, have a family, and tackle all of your dreams within a short time after graduating college. Not long after that heartbreaking night, you would decide to replace that fear and uncertainty with hope and perseverance. …

From the first race of your freshman year to the last race of your senior year, you calculate the times you need to run to hit personal records – not the years you have left. Running becomes more than just an action, it turns into a reason to fight for your health and future. I must tell you that life continues to have its hardships. There are times that you drop out of races because you can’t breathe, but it does not stop you from getting on the starting line the next meet. You will learn to think of those moments with health struggles as the hills on a cross country course. You lean in a little more, swing your arms a little harder, and make your strides a little longer. You learn to love the hills in cross country because they have the ability to show you how strong and capable you are even when you didn’t believe it before making it to the top. …

You will never stop fighting to stay healthy for your future endeavors, but thanks to advancements in treatments, that life expectancy continues to climb. I can assure you that merely putting one foot in front of the other will teach you the biggest lessons in this life: no matter what gets thrown at you, you will thrive because you have the determination, endurance, and ambition to do so.