Jayne Lee Andreesen Memorial Scholarship

Jayne Lee Andreesen, 13, of Bettendorf, Iowa, died Saturday, November 12, 2005, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, after an extensive, courageous cancer battle. Jayne was born April 27, 1992, to Jeff and Nancy (Byrne) Andreesen of Bettendorf. She was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bettendorf and attended Pleasant Valley Junior High where she was a high honor student. She played violin in the Pleasant Valley School orchestra, clarinet in the band and sang in the choir. She was active in her church youth group and a member of the confirmation class. She was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan and loved animals.  Jayne was a member of Gilda’s Club, an honorary survivor for the first annual Daffodil Gala, and for the 2005 American Cancer Society Relay for Life at Bettendorf High School. Everyone who knew her loved her and she is greatly missed by all her family and friends.

Relay For Life Opening Ceremony Speech

Hi, my name is Jayne Andreesen. I am honored to be asked to be this year’s Relay for Life Honorary Survivor. I’m going into 8th grade at Pleasant Valley Junior High. I live with my mom, Nancy, and my dad, Jeff. I have two cats and a fish. Their names are Stormy, Jingles, and Shiny. I’d like to tell you my story.

I was just an ordinary sixth grader living an ordinary life when I noticed I was wheezing and having difficulty breathing. My mom took me into the doctor right away and he started treating me for asthma. Well I didn’t get any better, only worse. So on February 9, 2004, I had a CT scan on my chest. The scan revealed a huge mass in my chest and I was rushed to the University of Iowa Hospitals and clinics instantly. I had a biopsy done and it revealed that I had Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma of the Mediastinum. It’s a rare form of pediatric cancer that starts from a muscle and it was wrapping around my pulmonary artery and left bronchus. I spent a week in the PICU, (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and they started giving me three types of chemotherapy. I responded quickly. The tumor shrank and I was able to go home. I was placed on a 42 week protocol which included chemo, radiation, and possibly surgery. In May, they took out 90-95% of the remaining tumor. The surgeon couldn’t take out all of the tumor because of its location. I proceeded to have 29 external radiation treatments to my Mediastinum. I continued the protocol and had my last treatment on December 13th. I had a CT scan on January 7th and no cancer was found and I was released from treatment.

I have chosen three words to describe my journey:

First – courage because you need the ability to beat the cancer and to not have fear. Cancer is not for wimps and I am not a wimp! But, I also know that if I trust in God he will carry me through and give me the courage that I need to keep up the fight.

Second – love because of all of the support people give you and the great feeling you get that encourages you. When I feel loved, I’m happy that’s the greatest feeling of all.

Last – Joy to be happy and make the best of things in any circumstances. Laughter’s the best medicine and helps to pick you up in the hardest of times. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Last year when I came to the Relay I was so happy to see my friends and everybody on the PV team being so supportive. I knew that they cared and I was so happy. It really cheered me up. Also last year when I came home from the Relay all the neighbors lit hundreds of luminaries that lined the streets. It was so beautiful. I was smiling the rest of the night. All the love and support helped me get through. Right now I am going through a tough time. I have a mass in my foot and it’s been really scary being diagnosed with the same crummy cancer again. I appreciate all the love, support, and prayers from everyone to help me keep up the fight. Our Relay for Life tonight helps to support the American Cancer Society, were we can make a difference; it just takes one person at a time who can help in either some big or small way to help fight cancer! Every thing about tonight means so much to me. I want to thank you all for coming and I hope you have an awesome time tonight!

*Students apply for this scholarship through the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend at cfgrb.org

Criteria to Apply:

  • Applicants must be a graduating high school senior from Pleasant Valley High School
  • Applicants must have achieved high honors (a GPA of at least 3.75 after seven semesters of high school)
  • Applicants must have an interest in pursuing a career in a health-related field
  • Applicants must plan to attend a college or vocational school upon graduation
  • The selection criteria for this scholarship include character (Positive role model; self-disciplined and doesn’t quit easily; enthusiastic about life; morally and ethically strong; gets along well with people), community involvement (Cares about others; desires to help others for the good of mankind) and achievement (Dedicated and respected; Considered likely to succeed; not afraid of a challenge)

Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:

  • Personal Statement 1: Describe you educational plans and career goals, and how this scholarship will help you attain these goals.
  • Personal Statement 2: How has Jayne Andreesen’s story, or anyone else you may have heard about or know who has died from cancer, impacted your life and career plans?

 

Past Scholarship Recipients:

2016     Susan Li
2015     Ashton Ehrecke
2014     Amelia Jones
2013     Sara Judickas
2012     Jenna Geick
2011     Natalie Martin
2010     Allison Shanks
2010     Jennifer Park
2010     Jonelle Addabbo
2009     Kathryn Dayman
2008     Alexander Tomesch
2007     Kelsey LaFayette
2006     Kimberly Holmberg