Josiah Baker, MPS II
My name is Josiah Baker and I have an attenuated form of MPS II. I am currently a Nursing Student at Austin Peay State University and am enjoying the ability I have to learn more about healthcare. My plan is to become a medical missionary overseas assisting orphans with disabilities in getting the physical and spiritual help they need.
Anna Bellassai, MPS IVA
My name is Anna Grace Bellassai, and I have MPS IVA, also known as Morquio A Syndrome. I want to attend UMass Amherst to study biology so that I can help advance genetic engineering. I have volunteered at the National MPS Society for two Speaker’s Bureaus and have advocated for the
Newborn Screening Bill to be passed. My biggest passion lies in my creativity for writing. I have been writing since I was about eight years old, and am currently working to publish a novel that will raise awareness in rare disorders. I have two sisters (one with MPS, and one without) and also
live with my parents and our pet dog. I am excited for college because I believe the experience will help me grow in more ways than one, such as my individuality, responsibility and my creativity.
Laney Biggs, MPS I
My name is Laney Biggs and I am a 17 year old from East Tennessee. I am a lover of music, binging Netflix shows, and overall being a friend to anyone in need. I have been fortunate enough to be diagnosed with MPS1 while still in utero and thus was transplanted at a very young age. This was a blessing because this disease had not had a lot of time to start damaging my body before being transplanted at 9 weeks old. I now am a senior who is looking forward to graduating high school and continuing my education to obtain my Master’s and CPA license. All the obstacles that have been thrown my way in life have made me into someone who is resilient, strong, and does not let anything stop them.
Rachael Bosch, MPS I Sibling
My name is Rachael Bosch, I am a freshman at Western Michigan University. I have a brother who has MPS 1-H. I am studying to become a child life specialist and I also am working on starting my own non-profit to directly support those affected by MPS. I am a part of Western Michigan Universities chapter of A Moment of Magic. It is a non-profit where members dress up as loved characters and visit children with medical vulnerabilities, making them feel like a kid. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends, watching movies, and going to concerts.
Chloe Clark, MPS II Parent and Sibling
My name is Chloe Clark and I am 17 years old. I live in South Carolina. I was an active girl scout for 13 years, participated in Robotics through my school district for 7 years and was a member of Interact Club for 4 years. I am the older sister of Jaxon who is 9 and has Hunter Syndrome. I had my beautiful
son, Anthony in April 2018 who also has Hunter Syndrome. I will be attending Lander University in Greenwood SC this fall to pursue my bachelors degree in Special Education.
Carson Cook, MPS I
My name is Carson Cook. I am a senior in high school and have lived in the small town next door to Sacramento my entire life. I am like any other student at my school because I play tennis, basketball and other sports just like everyone else does. I love sports and I have played all the sports from basketball, tennis, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Throughout high school I have taken many AP/Honors classes. I have taken AP statistics, government, united states history, language, and literature. My overall GPA in high school is 4.22 and that is all because of my hard work and dedication. I am 17 and I graduate June 2020. I want to attend San Diego State and study communication/journalism in the fall of 2020.
Hannah Efird, MPS IIIA Sibling
Hello, my name is Hannah Efird and I am 20 years old. I am from Albemarle of Stanly County, NC. My sister, Lindsey Whitleigh Efird passed away in June 2019 from MPS IIIA. Some hobbies of mine include any outdoor activity, running, traveling, painting/drawing and listening to country music. I am currently attending Catawba College with hopes to graduate with a BSN. My favorite color is yellow and purple. Yellow because it is like the sun. It always shines on a gloomy day. Purple because I love my sister and it makes me think of her.
Patricia Espinal, MPS VI (Jeffrey Bardsley Scholarship Recipient, 2020)
My name is Patricia. I am 28 years and I was born with MPS VI. I am currently working on my BA in Communication and Media Studies at Dominican University of California. My wish is to use my degree to continue to help those in the MPS and rare disease community by advocating and to sharing their stories of courage, determination, and hope. My goal is to continue to beat the odds. To earn a college education is not only a pathway to a career and my own independence; it is a statement that everything my family and I have sacrificed and lost was not in vain. That while the medicine I receive every week may prolong my life, I am the only one who can make my life worth living. What makes my life worth living is to give back, as so many have given to me. And while I know that I will be sitting in a hospital every week for the rest of my life, I also know that my life will be full of new experiences, adventures and new challenges that I will
continue to face with faith, determination and the love and support of my family.
Marcus Garvin, MPS II
Marcus Garvin, born and raised in Alexandria, VA. I am what is called generation Z. I was diagnosed with MPS II at the age of 5. I have what is called an attenuated version of MPS II. I have physical symptoms without cognitive involvement. I have been able to have pretty much a normal childhood. Although I have some physical characteristics of MPS II my outgoing, confident, and ambitious attitude defines me. I have a close relationships with my cousins who I often consider to be my brothers.
I played football when I was younger, soon my teammates became taller and heavier. I was unable to play in my weight class because of age. I was determined to play sports. I later developed a love for soccer. I played soccer until I was in 10th grade. Practice became harder and harder but I managed to push through. My team won 4 championships. I have over 10 trophies for football and soccer.
I strive to achieve all of my goals, the latest, obtaining my driver’s license. I received my driver’s license at age 16, so I’ve been driving now almost 2 years. I have several friends on the football team, who are much taller, however I share same interests. They have accepted me for who I am not the disease. I look forward to attending a 4 year University in the fall to pursue my dream of working for a sports team.
Spencer Gates, ML III
Hi, my name is Spencer Gates. I’m a college student at UCI with ML3 and I’m studying to be a VFX artist. I enjoy watching movies and tv shows, playing both computer and table top games. I hope to inspire others like me
to do their best and to do what inspires and motivates them.
Courtney Gross, MPS IVA
I am Courtney Gross. I am a senior at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington. I am a swimmer, and have been competing for 10 years, and 8 years with Paralympic swimming. I am captain of the high school swim team, am on the yearbook staff and am involved with Link Crew (where seniors help freshmen navigate their first year of high school).
James Hart, MPS IIIA Sibling
James Hart is a Junior at Montclair State University majoring in digital media, son of Jimmy and Kelly Hart and Brother to Kaitlyn Hart. He plays soccer at Montclair State and is part of the Theta Xi Fraternity. He enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as doing community service. He works as a videographer and laborer for the Borough of Carteret.
Christopher Hendrickson, MPS IVA
Chris Hendrickson is a freshman at Lake Region State College where he is studying Business Administration with a major in marketing. Chris works during the summer mowing lawns in his home town.
Matthew Irish, MPS I Sibling
My name is Matthew Irish and I am from a small city in Washington called Marysville. I grew up with my two brothers, Jacob and Noah. Jacob has MPS I and it has been a great journey learning from him and growing up with him. I am currently attending Central Washington University and
majoring in Computer Science with a minor in STEM teaching. I hope to one day be a computer science teacher and baseball coach.
Madhu Kandasamy, MPS IVA Sibling
Madhu is a sophomore at Washington University studying Neuroscience and Psychology. She enjoys playing guitar and writing in her free time, and is excited to pursue a career in medicine!
Jakob Klemm, MPS I Sibling
Jakob is a Junior at UNC whose love for ancient history, software, and politics is surpassed only by his love for Tar Heel basketball. You can normally find him hunched over a computer, reading on a couch, skiing, or on a basketball court. Despite his love for UNC, though, he’s a patriotic Floridian and will happily give you a lecture on the six sub-regions of Florida. He is studying Computer Science and History, and works part-time for Maxar Technologies and his church. He will be interning in Seattle this summer for Amazon with the hope of being promoted to middle management before they take over the world.
Talha Lone, MPS IVA Sibling
Talha Lone is a sophomore undergraduate student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering alongside a dual-degree in Mathematics but partakes in various activities outside of the STEM field. This includes participating in their theater group, the Red Masquers, as well as maintaining a leadership role as the president of Duquesne University’s Muslim Student Association. He hoped to continue his education in graduate school and conduct research as a Ph.D candidate, having previously conducted research in the bMECH Lab at the University of California, Riverside under Dr. Mona Eskandari.
Courtney Marine, ML II/III Sibling
Courtney Marine is currently a sophomore at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pursuing a career in nursing. She hopes to one day become a nurse working at the UNC hospital, and wants to special in pediatrics. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, drawing, listening to music, and visiting new places. Courtney has maintained a grade point average of a 3.939, and finds learning about anatomy to be the most exciting. Courtney’s brother, Austin, was diagnosed with ML II/III in 2000, and has recently passed away. Austin brought so much joy and love in her life, and he is the most important person to her. She wants to have a career in the healthcare setting to help family’s who also have special needs children. She is very grateful to be able to go to college not only for herself, but for Austin as well, and strives to make him and her family proud.
Logan Marine, ML II/III Sibling
My name is Logan Marine, and I am from North Carolina. My sweet brother, Austin, had ML 2/3. He inspired me in many ways, such as appreciating life for what it is, and staying positive even in the toughest situations. I plan on continuing my education for myself and for Austin, and I hope to better the lives of others through pursuing a nursing career. I live everyday to the fullest with Austin in my heart, and will continue searching
for opportunities to be just like him.
Broderick Musser, MPS I
My name is Broderick Musser, my family and friends call me Brodie. I am an 18 year old high school senior. I was diagnosed with attenuated form of MPS 1 when I was five years old. I have had multiple surgeries through the years and receive weekly infusions and am currently in a wheelchair and have visual impairments. However, even through all of this, I have worked to maintain a grade point average above 3.5, become a member of the National Honor Society and am going to college to become a Math teacher.
Tyler Seabrook, MPS I
My name is Tyler Seabrook. I currently attend Cabrini University in Radnor, Pennsylvania. I am a Junior majoring in Communications with a Minor in Sports Management. I am an Eagle Scout and an avid sports fan. I am a Philadelphia-area sports fan through and through. I live with my mom and dad, younger brother, younger sister and my dog, Jane.
Colin Seeley, MPS I Sibling
Collin Seeley is currently a student at Mexico High School. He has been Top 25 in his class all four years of high school, and has frequently gotten High Honor Roll. Collin has received many awards during his time in high school, such as the Le Moyne Heights Award, English 11 Honors Award, and Mexico’s Respect Award. At Mexico High School, he has taken many advanced or college level courses, such as AP Physics, AP Calculus, Psychology, and Spanish. He is in both Mexico’s English and Spanish Honor Societies, and is one of the Math Honor Society’s treasurers. Collin plans to
continue his education by studying for a Bachelor’s in Psychology in college.
Cody Underwood, MPS II
Since I was young, I have possessed a spirit of adventure driven by my desire for problem-solving. Whether it be selling lemonade to raise money for a video game I wanted, or using a coat hanger to unlock my car after locking my keys in the trunk with groceries waiting to spoil, I’ve always found energy and excitement from solving problems. Currently, I am studying Business and Applied Analytics as a Sophomore at University of Southern California. I hope to use both my quantitative and qualitative skills to create, communicate, and implement solutions to a wide-range of
problems in work and life, allowing my adventurous spirit to manifest into a successful and exciting life.
Jennifer Underwood, MPS I
Hi! I am Jennifer Underwood. I have MPS 1 and shock people when I tell them the medical term for my disease. I love to read, do mathematics, and am a very addicted counted cross-stitcher! I love to talk and share my experiences about the disease I have. I love giving my MPS friends encouragement and strength everyday.
Jill Underwood, MPS I
I am Jill Underwood. I have MPS1 and live a happy life each day. I enjoy being with my family and working on crochet projects, detailed coloring projects, and recently have been learning how to do counted cross-stitch. I love watching uplifting movies and listening to good books – the classics
and trending. I like to keep a positive attitude about life because it is great!
Kyle Underwood, MPS II
Kyle has MPS II and is from San Diego, CA. He is a first-year Masters of Health Administration student at the University of Southern California. He completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego majoring in Public Health with a minor in Business. His previous experiences include working as an administrative intern at a large health system and being a part of a telehealth startup company. Beyond that, Kyle
is involved in the Adult Resource Committee and participates in Patient Advocacy work for society. He looks forward to bringing this unique patient perspective to the table both in school and in a career as a future health care leader.
Seth Van Nostrand, MPS II
Ella Yard, MPS II Sibling
My Name is Ella Yard and I am a senior at Seneca Valley High School. I will be attending Depaul University to study accounting. My brother Christian has MPS II and he inspired me to volunteer and work alongside children with special needs. I am applying for this scholarship to honor him.
Jeffrey Bardsley Scholarship Recipients
Samantha Slawson, MPS I
Nicholas DiTommaso, MPS II
Scott Cavanagh, MPS IVA