2011 Stifel Award Presented to Whitney Weldon '11
Posted 04/19/2012 09:00AM
Recognizing the courageous battle that Whitney Weldon '11 has been fighting against FOP (Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva), Trustee Henry Stifel '83 returned to the Martinsville Campus on April 18 to present her with the Stifel Award.
This honor recognizes extraordinary members of the Pingry community who have faced and continue to face significant challenges in their lives while, at the same time, helping others. Mr. Stifel, for whom the award is named, was paralyzed in an automobile accident during his junior year at Pingry, and part of the award description reads: "It shall be awarded to the person who best exemplifies those characteristics exhibited by Henry G. Stifel III in the aftermath of his accident and spinal injury: courage, endurance, optimism, compassion, and spirit." Established in 1984, the Stifel Award offers a unique opportunity to single out a special person who might otherwise not be recognized.
FOP causes parts of the body, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues, to turn into bones. It is one of the most disabling conditions, classified as a genetic disease, and there are no effective treatments. Whitney has been suffering from FOP since age eight, when she was in Grade 3, and has dedicated a great deal of time to raising money for FOP research, including organizing a benefit concert featuring Sam Adams.
During her Pingry career, Whitney also served as a team manager for the girls' lacrosse and soccer teams, earning varsity letters.