DEERFIELD, Ill., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas Pharma US, Inc. has announced the winners of the second 2010 Transplant Scholars Awards, which awarded a dozen $5,000 educational scholarships to transplant recipients and living donors from around the country to help them pursue their educational goals and gain even more power to make a real difference in the lives of the people around them. Scholarship winners were chosen from among 283 entries by a panel of judges who evaluated the essays on the level of hope, courage and achievement that the entrants demonstrated.
"We planned to award five scholarships this year," said Charlotte Berlin, Senior Product Director, Immunology, for Astellas. "However, once we started reading, we were so gripped by the stories of the challenges these students have overcome and their drive to give back–from advocating for the rights of others, to working in the medical field to delivering teddy bears to sick kids, that there was no way to stop at five."
Astellas wishes the following winners the best as they take on new academic challenges and make the world a better place in their own unique ways:
Kyla-Tana Aquino, kidney recipient from Rancho Cordova, CAKyla-Tana was 15 years old when she was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure and learned she needed a kidney transplant. Luckily, Kyla-Tana's parents were both generous donors. She received her first kidney from her father and six years later, received a kidney from her mother. Generosity runs in the Aquino family, and Kyla-Tana also gave back to the transplant community through a children's book about her experiences called "Kyla's Kidney Adventure." The book was distributed through the National Kidney Foundation to educate others of her kidney disease. More recently, Kyla-Tana co-led a public relations campaign for Donate Life California to increase organ donation awareness on her campus. Now, Kyla-Tana is enrolled in a Master's program at