Aya Osman did not let her cancer diagnosis or chemotherapy treatment interfere with her studies, and the Orange Park, Florida, native eventually graduated from high school. She also had something else to be thankful for: a scholarship to study at New York University.
According to Action News Jax, Aya’s scholarship was made available by the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, an organization dedicated to combating childhood illness via financial, emotional, and practical assistance. Aya informed the news site that she had known since she was 12 that she wanted to work in neurology after graduating from high school.
Though those aspirations were put in jeopardy after her cancer diagnosis, Aya still kept her eyes on her prize and continued living her life. “My older sister flew in from college, she noticed a weird lump and I was like that’s a cause for concern so once we got it checked out it was the worst news possible, cancer,” the 18-year-old recalled.
Aya’s cancer has since been in remission for two years. Before that, however, she said she had to undergo chemotherapy once every three weeks for six months. Aya said her fear did not last as she found solace in her love for playing the piano.
“I’m pretty good at making situations lighthearted so I was cracking jokes here and there,” she added. Aya also credited her mother for helping her keep up with her studies during her cancer diagnosis, Action News Jax reported. While she was undergoing chemotherapy at the hospital, Aya said her mother visited her with her laptop every day so she could keep pace with what was happening in the classroom.
Aya eventually received her Summa Cum Laude diploma from Ridgeview High School. The cherry on top was that she was awarded a scholarship to study biology at New York University. The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation allegedly helped Aya after she approached them.