Quinnipiac student awarded scholarship named for Fairfield girl with incurable brain condition
FAIRFIELD — A Quinnipiac University student recently received a $30,000 scholarship named in honor of a Fairfield 6-year-old with an incurable brain condition, according to a news release.
The Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, the largest pediatric-focused hydrocephalus advocacy and research funding provider in the country, announced on Monday that Ashley Dunbar, of Quinnipiac’s Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, was the first recipient of the Reagan Sloane Shanley Scholarship.
The scholarship is named for 6-year-old Fairfield resident Reagan Shanley. At 9-months-old, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and had two brain surgeries before she reached 18 months.
“Our brave and feisty little girl has inspired us to be a part of the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation,” said a prepared statement from Cindy Shanley, mother of Reagan. Over the last 4 years we’ve raised almost $300,000 for the PHF through the generous donations of family and friends.”
Cindy Shanley said her family decided to created the scholarship in his daughter’s name as an effort to support students and researchers working to find advancements in treated hydrocephalus.
The scholarship Dunbar was awarded will be spread out over three years. She received three $10,000 checks to be used each year. The family said she was “the obvious choice” for the scholarship.
Dunbar was playing against the Yale University’s women’s ice hockey team in a game in the fall of 2013 when she was hit hard from behind and suffered a serious head injury, bringing her hockey career to an end, the news release said.
After her injury, Dunbar created a concussion support group at Quinnipiac and decided to focus on neurological research to understand how the body and brain function, and help support the fight against hydrocephalus.
“Reagan is truly a vivacious individual,” Dunbar said in a prepared statement. “Thank you again to the Shanley family and to the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation for their support and I am honored to have been named a Reagan Sloane Shanley Scholarship recipient.”
Reagan’s parents, Tim and Cindy Shanley, are the Connecticut State Chapter Directors of the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation. They said the continue to remain optimistic that their daughter’s condition will continue to be managed through her current health procedures.
Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization intended to educate the community by raising awareness about hydrocephalus. The organization has 30 state chapters and provides support to families, friends and children affected by the incurable brain condition.
For more information, visit HydrocephalusKids.org.