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Dr. Lara Ellison ‘97 and Mr. Shane Ellison ’95

The Max Lacewell and Brianna Sharp Memorial Scholarship was established by alumni couple, Dr. Lara Ellison ‘97 and Mr. Shane Ellison ’95 to honor the memories of Max Lacewell and Brianna Sharp, who both died much too young of a rare brain tumor – diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Both children were patients of Dr. Ellison and became close friends with each other through their shared fate. They displayed unbelievable courage in their daily lives, but especially in the nine months after their illness was diagnosed in October 2008 to the time of their deaths in July 2009.

The Ellisons, inspired by Max and Brianna, have established this scholarship as a living testament to the compassion, courage and generosity of spirit that both young people possessed. The primary goal of this scholarship is to provide assistance for a full-time student in the sciences who plans to pursue a career in medicine and/or medical research with special consideration given to a student who has an interest in a career in cancer research, oncology and/or a related field committed to defeating this horrible disease. This type of research/study is important to the Ellisons because the hope is that one day other children will not have to suffer the same fate.