24 Jun Stem Cell Therapy Leads to Scholarship for GHC Softball Pitcher
Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2020
BY DONNA HARRIS
Stem cell therapy has been very good for Madalyn Morton for a couple of reasons.
First, receiving it instead of having surgery for a softball injury has freed her from pain, and second, it enabled her to win a scholarship through sharing her experience in an essay.
The rising sophomore at Georgia Highlands College’s Cartersville campus was the first-ever recipient of the R3 Stem Cell academic scholarship worth $1,500.
“Winning the scholarship showed me that my voice was heard,” said the 19-year-old, who was selected from more than 50 applicants. “I appreciated that my opinion was valued. I hope that others will be encouraged by my experience.”
Applicants for the scholarship, which will be an annual award, had to submit a 1,000-word essay that answered the question “How do you foresee stem cells affecting human life and health 10 years from now?” as well as carry a minimum GPA of 2.5 and show proof of current enrollment or acceptance.
Morton, a softball pitcher at GHC who carries a cumulative GPA of 3.89 with a full course load, used her experience of receiving stem cell therapy to heal a hip injury rather than having surgery as the basis of her essay.
“I wanted to share my personal positive experience with the stem cell therapy,” she said. “I tore my labrum in my right hip, and it was frayed in the left so I got stem cell therapy in both hips. Now I’m pain-free.”
The Williamsburg, Virginia, resident wrote in her essay, “Younger patients with knee, hip, shoulder and ankle injuries will look forward to faster recovery and few side effects from stem cell therapy. Stem cell replacement, with the limited recovery period, will allow student-athletes to maintain their strong athletic track and experience no disruption to the academic schedule.”
“Madalyn’s application was exceptional,” R3 CEO Dr. David Greene said in a news release. “She’s balancing academics and athletics very well. She actually has received stem cell therapy in the past for athletic injuries as an alternative to surgery, and her recovery is going very well. Her essay was beautifully written.”
Morton said she received treatment in November; by early February, she was “already experiencing major improvements, and by March of 2020, I was completely pain-free.”
“This truly was a life-changing experience,” she said. “Stem cell therapy is important to me because it gave me the opportunity to continue playing the sport I love. I would recommend this to anyone with this type of constant pain.”
Winning the scholarship gave Morton — who applied in December “before I even knew the stem cell would actually work” — more money for financing her college education in addition to giving her the opportunity to share her story.
“Being an out-of-state student-athlete, I was looking for additional funding to help with the cost of school,” she said.
Morton, a Class of 2019 graduate, has “nearly completed” all her courses for an associate degree in business and plans to transfer to a major Division-I college or university to play softball and earn a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing.
“I am looking for softball opportunities,” she said. “I am hoping to transfer to a metropolitan area for my degree. Due to COVID-19, I will still have four more years of eligibility left to play.”
Greene congratulated Morton on a job well done.
“Georgia Highlands College is a great institution and is allowing her to pursue her dreams,” he said. “Her own regenerative medicine procedure appears to be working well, and the way she tied that into her application was exceptionally orchestrated. I encourage all qualified students to apply for the upcoming year.”
The yearly scholarship provides a new avenue for R3, which has performed more than 13,000 stem cell procedures nationwide in the past eight years, to give back to the “ever-progressing academic community while investing in young minds who are the cornerstone to the future of the stem cell field,” the release said.
To apply for the scholarship, eligible applicants should visit https://r3stemcell.com/scholarship/ and follow the instructions before the end of the year.