Panera scholarships help cancer kids go to college

- Children and young adults with cancer often miss days of school, and their families usually have to deal with mounting medical bills.

The Panera Bread Knead for Knowledge Scholarship Program is helping to ease some of the burdens.

In 2014, Isabella Ramirez was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma; a form of Cancer that attacks the immune system.Today at 19 years old, Isabella visits the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa to study for college. She's going to USF this fall.

"I'm looking forward to the school and the studying but also the social aspect of it," she said. 

She went through a year of treatment and had a bone marrow transplant in 2015. The financial cost drained her family's budget.

"It was hard not knowing what was going to happen once I was diagnosed," she remembers. "I didn't know if I would have a future and if I would get to accomplish any of my goals or reach any of my dreams."

Her future is brighter now thanks to the Panera Bread Knead for Knowledge Scholarship Program. They give scholarships to children with cancer.

"These children work so hard to get where they are, they overcome so many obstacles and we are just so happy that we able to form this scholarship program," Said Vikki Kaiser who works for Panera Bread.

Isabella can't wait to fulfill her dreams. Her health is great and she will be able to start school at USF this fall. The scholarship program has awarded more than $350,000 in the past four years. If you would like more information, visit www.childrenscancercenter.org.

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