West Chester Student Granted Scholarship Through Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Survivor Scholarship Program

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WEST CHESTER, PA — According to the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, the average cost of battling childhood cancer for just one family starts at $833,000, including medical costs and lost parental wages. Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is committed to making a difference in the lives of those children and their loved ones, including providing needed financial support. As part of these efforts, local West Chester resident Althea Mae Hutchinson has been recognized as one of the company’s 2021 Childhood Cancer Survivor Scholarship recipients.

Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Scholarship Program was created in an effort to ease the financial burden on families affected by childhood cancer by helping to fund school tuition and fees. This year’s program marks the largest group of scholars to date, with 50 students nationwide receiving a $5,000 renewable scholarship (for a total of $10,000). Each recipient has been affected by childhood cancer, either as a survivor or sibling, and has demonstrated strong academic performance.

Althea Mae Hutchinson was diagnosed with a primitive neuroectodermal tumor on her left optic nerve just after her first birthday. While she is cancer-free today, Althea wears a prosthetic eye daily. Due to her age at the time of her diagnosis, she can’t remember a life without cancer. Despite the impact that cancer has had on her life, Althea has gone on to study art history and political science at Drexel University.

“It is undeniable that my medical history and tumor are a core part of myself and my identity. They are the root of my self-advocacy, my confidence, my sense of self and the center of my drive to help others however and whenever I can, through philanthropy or advocacy,” said Althea Mae Hutchinson. “I am thankful for this scholarship for affording me the opportunity to study political science and continue my philanthropic and advocacy efforts.”

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Since 2012, the Northwestern Mutual Childhood Cancer Program has contributed more than $35 million to the cause to find better treatments and cures for childhood cancer, while providing family and patient support and aiding those who struggle with the long-term effects of cancer treatment. To learn more about Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to the fight against childhood cancer visit the Foundation website here.

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