Claudia Martinez Strength Scholarship Endowment
Claudia Martinez, a fourth-year medical student at McGovern Medical School, is an excellent example of someone who faces adversity with resilience. Claudia has been a sign of hope for many around the world. Despite her own health battle, she always puts her patients first and has led multiple local and national efforts to advocate for, empower, and provide for patients beyond the hospital’s doors.
In 2011, Claudia was diagnosed with Chiari malformation, a condition in which a portion of the brain protrudes from the bottom of the skull, compressing the brain stem. Since then, she has undergone six major brain surgeries, multiple shunt operations, numerous feeding tube and port surgeries, and countless procedures and hospitalizations – all while attending college and medical school.
Along the way, Claudia was diagnosed with hydrocephalus (spinal fluid build-up in the brain), gastroparesis (partial paralysis of the stomach), adrenal insufficiency (decreased hormone production), dysautonomia (dysfunction of the autonomic system), and trigeminal neuralgia (nerve-related chronic facial pain). In 2017, she had a stroke that initially left her paralyzed from the neck down.
Over the next year and a half, Claudia had to relearn how to do everything that we seemingly take for granted in everyday life – from bathing and dressing herself to walking and eating. Even while she was 100% dependent on artificial nutrition and IV fluids that were administrated through a permanent feeding tube and a port in her chest, she carried these lifelines along with her as she continued to see patients.
Many cannot understand how Claudia persevered when all the odds were against her, but she has continually shown us how to keep striving for success, even in the face of hardships. Claudia is able to apply her own unique patient perspective to provide better care to her own patients as a future physician. As the first in her family to graduate college and attend medical school, Claudia recognizes the valuable impact that a scholarship can make on a person's ability to continue on a successful path towards a bright future, especially when facing adversities.
Please join us in helping create the Claudia Martinez Strength Scholarship Endowment, a source of renewing funds that will live on in perpetuity in honor of Claudia and her selfless journey. Each year, earned income from this endowment will support a McGovern Medical School student who, like Claudia, has shown resilience and strength in the face of adversity on their path to becoming a physician. Your gifts will allow us to recognize the accomplishments and achievements of other students who are facing hardships in pursuit of their medical education in honor of Claudia Martinez’s lasting legacy.
*Disclaimer: Donations to this fund will be transferred to a current use scholarship account - awarded in Claudia's honor, with the same purpose - if the requirements to create an endowed scholarship are not met by August 31, 2020.