New Jerseyites Among Students With Narcolepsy Scholarship Winners

Source: Project

Project Sleep is proud to announce the 2017 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship, a national scholarship program supporting students with narcolepsy while also raising narcolepsy awareness in high school and college settings.

Narcolepsy is a serious neurological disorder of the sleep/wake cycle affecting about 1 in 2,000 people worldwide, including many children and young adults. Symptoms include excessive sleepiness, cataplexy (sudden muscle paralysis triggered by emotions), sleep paralysis and frightening hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up. Due to lack of awareness in medical communities and society at large, narcolepsy is extremely under-recognized and misunderstood. Patients often suffer symptoms for 3 to 15 years before receiving proper diagnosis and treatment.

To help fundraise, Project Sleep’s founder and president Julie Flygare took on a grueling marathon, raising over $3,000 for the scholarship and gaining national media attention via CNN’s Runner: Having narcolepsy is harder than a marathon. In addition, a wonderful $5,000 charitable contribution from Jazz Pharmaceuticals provided vital funding for this year’s program. In just four years, the program has awarded 36 scholarships of $1,000 each to students with narcolepsy entering college. And among the eleven 2017 recipients are a pair of “Jersey girls!”

Jessica Zhang of Morristown was diagnosed with narcolepsy in sixth grade when she started falling asleep in her favorite class, math. Outside of school, Jessica enjoys baking, cooking, spending time with her younger brother, and getting involved in her community through her local 4-H club. She looks forward to studying biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

Ebonia Moody of Colt’s Neck was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy when she was 10 years old. The past eight years have been hard with medicine losing effectiveness over time, but it didn’t stop Ebonia from participating in concert band, marching band, pit band and step team. Mooney is section leader of marching and concert band and was step team captain her junior year. She hopes to continue with band at Syracuse University as well as majoring in architecture.

“This year, we received applications from 45 courageous students living with narcolepsy,” Flygare said. “When the Graham family and I founded the program four years ago, we planned to give one scholarship each year. The fact that so many caring individuals, families, and corporations including Jazz have joined us to make a positive impact on so many more students with narcolepsy – it’s a dream come true, and an honor to share the 2017 recipients with you today.”

Click here for information on donating to Project Sleep.

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