When Julia Petrallo was born, doctors told her parents to “enjoy the little time left” with her. Now a graduating senior at Canfield High School in Ohio, Julia has Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). In addition to the dialysis and treatments for her failing kidneys, Julia experiences regular fatigue, migraines, and dizziness. While ARPKD has caused her to miss school, time with friends, and other events most teenagers take for granted, it has not stopped her from becoming a highly accomplished, passionate, and driven individual.
Julia shares, “Having Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease has caused, and will continue to cause some of the worst days of my life. However, I know without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t have the same drive, the same passions, or the same endless lust to make every day better.”
Julia’s long list of activities and accomplishments include, outstanding academic success, Speech and Debate Team, Varsity soccer, volunteering at the local Children’s Hospital, Lacrosse, and civic and political engagement. It is these activities and her vivacious spirit that define Julia - not her illness.
Richie's Spirit Foundation congratulates Julia Petrallo on being selected as a finalist. Please stay tuned for the announcement of scholarship winners coming soon.