Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Medical Student Receives UWIDEF's Danielle Hanson Memorial Bursary

Published:Friday | December 23, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Mondisa Lydner (second right) collects her bursary from members of the family of late University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona medical student, Danielle Hanson, who died in a car crash. Making the presentation are (from left) Matthew Hanson, David Hanson, Dr Christine Carberry-Hanson, Dr David Hanson, and Lorna Cruickshank – accountant at the UWI Development and Endowment Fund.

The family of Danielle Hanson, late University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona medical student who died in a car crash on November 29, 2014, have committed approximately $300,000 towards the studies of aspiring doctors at the university in her honour.

Recently, in recognition of the second anniversary of her passing, the Hanson family journeyed from Mandeville, Manchester to the Mona,

St Andrew campus to meet with Mondisa Lydner, one of the medical students who have benefited from a Danielle Hanson Memorial Bursary, which is administered by the UWI Development and Endowment Fund (UWIDEF).

During an interview prior to the get-together, Lydner, a past student of the Camperdown High School and a resident of Seaview Gardens, said she was elated to have been chosen for the bursary.

"I was happy to receive this bursary because the doctors who interviewed me seemed to know who they were really looking for. They asked relevant questions, like why I want to become a medical doctor, and the fact that they chose me made me feel good," the 19-year-old first-year medical student said.

Her choice to pursue medicine at UWI is based on her passion to help those in need.

"Cancer drew me to medicine when I was around 15 years old. I want to find ways to treat cancer and leave the suffering behind, especially for children. I don't want them to go through the whole experience. I knew someone who died from cancer, and watching her suffer through it was heartbreaking. It was a slow death, and nothing could have been done about it," Lydner said.

Lydner, who was in her first semester at UWI, received $75,000 from this bursary through UWIDEF. When asked why she applied for the bursary from UWIDEF, she said, "Because I am doing an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) and it costs over $3 million annually. Furthermore, I wanted to live on campus, and the funding I received from UWIDEF was extra help, which I am grateful for," she said.

 

Strapped for Cash

 

Lydner stated that she has been strapped for cash since her father lost his job while she was a third-form student. For some time, she has been on the hunt for scholarships and bursaries to fund her studies and bring some level of relief to her mother, who was the sole breadwinner of the family for a while.

Between third and sixth form, she placed more emphasis on her studies, was successful in her examinations, and was on the honour roll at Camperdown High.

"Based on my hard work in high school, I got a scholarship from the Past Students' Association for my sixth-form year," she said.

Lydner said she was enjoying her UWI experience, but has one little challenge, and that is balancing her studies and the other opportunities UWI has to offer outside of academics, which she wants to experience.

"It is a challenge in balancing everything at UWI. However, if I feel like I am getting overwhelmed, I will stop and focus on the main things, which are my studies, and not the second-hand things, such as extra-curricular activities," she said.