In a tale of resilience and triumph, Aya Osman, an 18-year-old African American student from Orange Park, Florida, has overcome cancer and earned a prestigious full scholarship to New York University. Her unwavering determination has led her to pursue her dream of studying neurology, a passion she has nurtured since the age of 12.
Despite facing the daunting challenge of cancer, Aya refused to let it derail her aspirations. She adopted a step-by-step approach to life, focusing on the present moment and refusing to be defined by her circumstances. To eradicate the tumour in her arm, she embarked on a rigorous six-month chemotherapy regimen, enduring sessions every three weeks, followed by three-day hospital stays.
Throughout her treatment, Aya demonstrated remarkable resilience by immersing herself in schoolwork and other activities as a means of distraction from the arduous journey she was undertaking. She acknowledged the therapeutic value of engaging in activities like playing the piano and focusing on her studies to alleviate the side effects of her diagnosis.
“Distracting yourself, whether through music or academics, really helps mitigate the impact of such a challenging diagnosis. It provides a sense of solace and keeps your mind focused on something other than the illness,” Aya shared.
Her unwavering commitment to education was evident as she diligently pursued her International Baccalaureate degree despite the grueling treatment schedule. With her mother’s support, Aya brought her laptop to the hospital, enabling her to stay connected with her studies while doctors monitored her health progress.
“I completed all my assignments on my laptop. I would be lying in my hospital bed while nurses checked my vitals, rushing to finish an essay for IB history or English. Having the distraction of schoolwork allowed me to focus on something else, providing much-needed respite,” Aya explained.
Aya’s dedication and tireless efforts paid off handsomely as she graduated from Ridgeview High School with the highest honors, achieving a remarkable Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.77 and earning the distinction of Summa Cum Laude.
Her extraordinary achievements and indomitable spirit captured the attention of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, a charitable organization committed to supporting children battling cancer. Recognizing Aya’s exceptional resilience, the foundation granted her a full scholarship to pursue higher education at New York University.
Now cancer-free and two years into remission, Aya eagerly looks forward to her journey at New York University, where she plans to major in biology. Her scholarship serves as a testament to her remarkable strength and determination, highlighting her unwavering pursuit of a career in neurology.
Aya Osman’s story is an inspiration to all, demonstrating the power of resilience and the ability to overcome challenges. Her unwavering commitment to education and her dreams serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to persevere in the face of adversity. As she embarks on her educational journey, Aya represents the epitome of courage and determination, a shining example of what can be achieved through unwavering determination and an unyielding spirit.