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Abbott Awards Two Scholarships to Inspirational Students Living with Cystic Fibrosis

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today the winners of the CFCareForward Thriving Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship award.  Mark Moening, a Virginia Beach, Va. resident, and Wesley McSparin, a native of Paducah, Ky., were unveiled as the 2012 Thriving Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship recipients, respectively.  In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the program, the total award is $20,000.

Earlier this year, 40 undergraduate and graduate students living with cystic fibrosis (CF), including the Thriving Scholarship winners, were awarded $2,500 scholarships for use during the 2012-2013 school year based on their impressive academic merits, community involvement, extracurricular activities and creativity.  All 40 students then engaged in a month-long campaign for public votes which helped to determine the two recipients of the Thriving Scholarship awards.  The creative works of all scholarship students were inducted into the 2012 CFCareForward Scholarship recipient gallery and can be viewed online at

"Abbott is proud to recognize the enduring spirit and hard work of this talented group of young adults living with CF and to support their higher educational endeavors with scholarship funding this year," said Jim Hynd, divisional vice president, Cardiovascular Care, Metabolics and GI Care.  "The positive reception we have received from the CF community over the past two decades continues to underscore the importance of upholding the tradition of this program."

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States.  More than 70 percent of people with CF are diagnosed by age two.  

Due to advances in medical treatments, more young adults with CF are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, and increasingly are pursuing higher education.  Today, more than 45 percent of people living with CF are aged 18 or older.

"Despite the challenges I face, it has been my personal goal to blow CF away and not let it dictate my life," said Mr. Moening, this year's Thriving Undergraduate recipient.  "Receiving this scholarship will further my commitment to my studies and help me reach the high academic standards I have set for myself."

Recognizing the financial burdens that exist for many CF families, the CFCareForward Scholarship was developed to honor young adults with CF as they pursue goals of higher education.  In 2012, Abbott awarded more than $130,000 in scholarship funding to exceptional students living with CF for a total contribution of $2.3 million over the past 20 years. 

"At a young age I developed a passion for science, which sparked my curiosity about life, and has driven me to continue my education in graduate school," said Thriving Graduate recipient, Mr. McSparin.  "With the financial assistance provided by the CFCareForward Scholarship program, I will have the unique opportunity to learn more about a field I truly enjoy, and hope my ambition helps all individuals with CF understand their immeasurable worth and their enormous potential to inspire others."

About Cystic Fibrosis
In patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), a thick, sticky mucus is produced in certain organs throughout the body, most commonly the lungs and digestive system, including the pancreas.  The mucus build-up in the lungs can cause difficulty breathing and may lead to life-threatening lung infections.  Additionally, many people living with CF are unable to properly digest food because of the thick mucus in the digestive system.

About CFCareForward
Abbott is honored to continue the nearly 25-year commitment of helping people with CF manage their health.  The CFCareForward program provides comprehensive nutritional, financial and educational support for patients living with CF and their families.  To learn more about CFCareForward, please call 1-855-CARE4WD (227-3493).

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.  The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's website at