BCS Advantage Magazine Summer 2016 - Page 29

Close up of Jenna’s CCTV device that enlarges textbooks or the board so she can see them. experimental trial- her last hope to save her vision. These procedures involved cataract removal, iris implants, and stem cell implants. She travelled back and forth to the Cincinnati Eye Institute in Ohio with her mom and dad for the surgeries and doctors’ visits. The travel costs and medical bills added up. That’s when the Erwin community stepped in to help. A member of Jenna’s church started the Jenna Fund. Through social media, people from the community and all over the country donated money- even hotel rewards points- so the family could get Jenna to the doctors who could save her sight. “I was overwhelmed to see so much support,” says Jenna. “The prayers and love felt is something I will never forget.” With the help from her school, family and church community, Jenna has stayed strong throughout the process. “It shows my Erwin pride, and I hope to be an example to everyone. Never give up, no matter how hard it may seem.” Jenna is on a promising road to recovery. While the process is slow, there is definite progress. She no longer needs distance glasses and now able to participate in Scripture readings in church, something she had always wanted to do. “I feel like the surgery has allowed me to be more productive, and I feel more aware of my surroundings,” she says. As Jenna prepares to graduate from Erwin High, Jenna on the Erwin Football field in her marching band uniform with her tambourine. she admits her future is clearer than ever before as she looks to possibly a career in medical assisting or patient advocacy. Despite the challenges, Jenna’s story is just one of many inspirational reminders of how a family, school, community, and others can come together to help prepare a student for their limitless tomorrows. Mark your calendars for the start of the 2016-2017 school year! First day for teachers: August 24, 2016 First day for students: August 29, 2016 BCSAdvantage.org 27