**2005 WINNER OF THE DEANNA LYNN POTTS SCHOLARSHIP**
The Cystinosis Foundation is pleased to announce that Rebekah Palmer, daughter of Doug and Sandra Palmer, of Menomonie, Wisconsin, is the 2005 recipient of the Deanna Lynn Potts Scholarship award. Rebekah plans to attend Providence Baptist College in Elgin, Illinoid. She will be study to become an elementary school teacher.
Below is Rebekah's award winning essay.
Many people have left their special seal on my life but no one has made quite an impact as large as Mr. Mitchell Nelson. He has been teacher to me, principal to me, friend to me, counselor to me, and almost father figure to me. I know he has prayed for me ever since he met me (4yrs.old). He always is concerned about my doctor's appointments and always makes sure I am feeling ok during the course of a school day. He has always encouraged me to go beyond my limitations and if I think I can't succeed he's told me to just try it. Whenever I seek his counsel on anything he always relates how things affect me with cystinosis with what God's purpose may be for my life. He has encouraged me to do better and to work hard, treating me above my disability. When I was in the hospital with cancer he brought up a group of teens from my church to visit me. He and the others sang a song to me by Ron Hamilton that completely describes what Mr. Nelson has taught me. It was called 'Rejoice in the Lord" and the first words of the song were 'God never moves without purpose or plan". When I was debating with myself on if I should try the cysteamine eye drops or not Mr. Nelson told me 'Anyone can make a mistake, but the biggest mistake anyone can make is not to try." Because of this advice my eyes are being aided by the eye drops. Mr. Nelson is always looking for opportunities for me to better myself. Whenever school functions are miles away he makes sure I am taken care of. His wife is a nurse and she has accompanied me several times. I believe Mr. Nelson's impact on my life is because he uses truth from God's Word and helps me apply it to my life so I can live a victorious life despite my health barriers. I also believe it's because he cares about what becomes of my life and he actually is interested if I live a happy life with a disease or a sad life with a disease. When I get really frustrated because of issues going on with cystinosis he always comes back to me with help, whether it be a Bible verse, Scripture song, or one of his silly quotes. His life example has impacted me also for it is not just my life he prays about and helps but every life in Immanuel Baptist Church School where he is the principal. He even goes out of his way to help just anybody off the street. He is also assistant Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church. I've seen him work diligently behind the scenes, which has helped make my church available to me. I largely owe who I am today to Mr. Nelson because he has taught me through his life and advice to keep going and to stay happy while doing it.Rebekah Palmer