Seize the Day Awards helping young Tasmanians

Stephanie Foster, 24, of Sandy Bay was one of 33 Seize the Day Award Scholarship recipients for 2014. The scholarships are awarded to young people impacted by a cancer diagnosis themselves or that of a close family member.

Stephanie’s sister, mother and father have all had cancer and the scholarship will allow her to continue her Bachelor of Music at UTAS. “It will enable me to continue my studies, buy textbooks and also essential musical equipment such as a new violin bow,” Stephanie said. “It will ease the financial strain enormously. Importantly it is wonderful recognition for people like me who have been affected by cancer in their family and the struggles we have gone through. I was 11 years old when my older sister was diagnosed with acute leukaemia and 15 when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. My dad has also been diagnosed with cancer so it has been my life mission to avoid cancer.” Stephanie was also the recipient of the Peter Wise Award for showing outstanding determination in the face of adversity.

Nearly 100 people attended presentations to the scholarship winners in Hobart and Launceston. CEO Penny Egan said the Seize the Day Award Scholarship began nine years ago to support young people affected by cancer to pursue their studies. “We know the enormous emotional and financial challenges that young people face directly by a cancer diagnosis themselves or indirectly when through a parent, sibling, spouse or child,” Mrs Egan said. “Undergoing a cancer diagnosis at a young age or living with a close family member that has a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly traumatic for a young person. The consequences can affect young people when they are trying to study and get a job. Some young people have to put their own goals and ambitions on hold because of the cancer diagnosis. They all have shown remarkable resilience and these Scholarships will help ease their financial burden.”

Over the past eight years Cancer Council Tasmania has awarded a total of $170,300 to 126 students.

Stephanie Foster, 2014 Seize the Day Award Scholarship recipient