Hannah McDaniel from Littleton, CO has been named one of seven finalists in the 2015 Richie's Spirit Foundation College Scholarship Program. At just 12 years of age, Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D), a potentially fatal disease that requires constant monitoring and supervision.
Fearing the worst, Hannah chose to face the disease head on. She made long-term lifestyle changes - a healthier diet and increased exercise - and took it upon herself to get educated about her health and the disease.
"Intrinsic curiosity kindled my creative approach to T1D," she wrote. "I truly started to wonder how others could benefit from magazine their disease in the same holistic way that I did."
In response, Hannah created a website to share her personal discoveries about lifestyle choices and to promote nutrition's role in active management. She also began volunteering at a local transplant center, visiting with patients who developed extreme complications from the disease, such as kidney failure. And most notably, Hannah has spent countless hours volunteering for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, helping pediatric patients and their families to navigate the disease.
"I choose discovery and opportunity every day," she added.
This year, Richie's Spirit Foundation will award $3,500 in college scholarships to three recipients. Winners will be announced in the coming weeks. To learn more about RSF's College Scholarship Program, please click here.