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Szczepaniaks establish the Brad and Angela Szczepaniak Nursing Scholarship to honor their children

Alva, Okla. (Oct. 31, 2017) - Richard and Bonnie Szczepaniak established this scholarship in 2017 to honor their children, Brad and Angela, who fought cystic fibrosis.Brad and Angela Szczepaniak

Brad was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was nine months old. Despite doctor's expectations, Brad lived to 34 years old. While Angela struggled with the same disease, she was healthier compared to Brad. It came as a surprise to the family when she became ill and passed in less than 48 hours at the age of 20.

Despite the disease, Brad and Angela lived life to the fullest. They enjoyed the simple things in life, including country music, spontaneous trips to enjoy cheese fries at Eskimo Joes in Stillwater, cooking on the grill with their parents and concerts.

The family's motto, "us against the world", helped them survive. From the time Angela was a baby, Brad had seriously taken the role of big brother. His goal in life was to help her fight the disease any way he could.

Brad and Angela both married, but neither Brad nor Angela lived to celebrate their one year anniversaries. Angela had one son, Shawn Kendall. Shawn's grandparents, Richard and Bonnie, raised him and taught him to live life to the fullest just as they did Brad and Angela.

The care Brad received from the nurses inspired Richard and Bonnie to establish this scholarship. Their hope is this scholarship will ease the financial burden of college for nursing students in their third or fourth year of school, and will allow them to focus on their education so they can provide excellent care for those in need.

"We are deeply honored that the Szczepaniaks chose to honor their children with this scholarship," said Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association CEO. "During the last two years of the nursing curriculum, our students are allowed little time for outside work. Making ends meet is a challenge. This generous scholarship will provide several of our students with some relief from this financial pressure every year."

Full-time, third or fourth year continuing students with a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average are eligible for the Brad and Angela Szczepaniak Nursing Scholarship. Applicants must be accepted into the nursing program. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, including tuition, books, fees, and room and board.

For more information on the Brad and Angela Szczepaniak Nursing Scholarship, or about investing in Northwestern students, call Bird at 580-327-8593 or email him at



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