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Beyond Medical Care: The Crystal Scholarship

October 9th, 2019

Article via VIP Murfreesboro


Being tossed into the category of “breast cancer patient” is on no woman’s wish list. Breast cancer is really something that all women hope to be spared of in their lifetime, because they’ve seen the tough battle that their friends, moms, sisters, and daughters have fought. The journey of a breast cancer patient is difficult, and it not only affects the individual, but every member of the family as well. In honor of those families being affected by breast cancer, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic (MMC) has established the Crystal Scholarship to assist the children of MMC breast cancer patients in continuing their education beyond high school.

“As a new mom myself, I know that the one person I would worry about most, should I ever develop a life threatening condition, is my daughter,” said Dr. Lisa White, a provider at MMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center. “This new scholarship is our way of showing our patients that we care about not only them, but those people who are dearest to them.”

Crystal Brown, the MMC Comprehensive Breast Center patient after whom the scholarship was named, was diagnosed with a very unusual and aggressive breast cancer that has required care far beyond that of a typical patient. Of course, this diagnosis was difficult on the Brown family, but they always held out hope. Crystal remembered her son, Michael, now a freshman at Murray State, would always encourage her with words of strength.

“When he found out I was sick, he took it like a champ,” Crystal said. “He told me I was strong and that we could beat this.”

Like Crystal, Amanda Sterner was diagnosed with breast cancer at MMC. After considering all of her options, Amanda decided to delay her own surgery so that she could be a part of a special clinical trial to help other breast cancer patients. This selfless move ended up being successful, but she did not get through it alone. Throughout the fight, Amanda’s daughter was by her side.

“Erin was there with me every step of the way,” Amanda said. “She always had a brave face. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

Erin had always planned on going to school to study marketing. Her experience with the clinical side of the diagnosis of her mom changed those plans. She is now attending University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in pursuit of a degree in nursing.

Breast cancer not only affects the individual, it affects the whole family.

 The Browns and the Sterners are fighting their battles as families, and it was for families like these that the Crystal Scholarship was established. Deservedly, both Michael and Erin have each been awarded MMC’s inaugural Crystal Scholarship.

The Brown Family The Sterner Family

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