Hi, I am Shea Appell and I am a senior majoring in Secondary Education Mathematics at the University of Alabama. The University of Alabama is very important to my family and me. Several members of my family attended the University of Alabama. My aunt currently teaches in the college of Communications and my cousin Michael plays on Alabama’s football team (number 46). I have been an Alabama fan my entire life, but what really sparked my interest is when my sister, Sheena Ayers, decided to attend the University when I was just 10 years old.
Sheena was a very normal girl on the outside, but on the inside she had cystic fibrosis. Luckily Sheena was able to attend college for two years and was able to enjoy every minute of it. She was an inspiration to so many when she spoke about cystic fibrosis and the need to raise funds to find a cure. When she died, her death was a shock to our family and friends.
Although losing Sheena was a tragedy, Tuscaloosa and the Alabama fan base did not forget us. The University President at the time, Dr. Whitt, personally called my family and even had a brick in Sheena’s name be laid on a campus walkway. Each day I look around our beautiful campus and it reminds me of my sister. She was so beautiful just like our campus and she loved being here. Hopefully one day in the near future there will be a cure for this disease and other children will be fortunate enough to go off to school and enjoy this amazing campus just like my family has had the opportunity to.
My parents set an example of fundraising for a cure for CF and I am inspired by Sheena’s story and their example to ask you to join us in the fight. Give a gift to support our favorite school while helping us find a cure for CF. I hear that “other school” won the challenge last year. Let’s take the Iron Bowl Challenge and help find a cure for cystic fibrosis!