Welch interested in career working with other diabetics
September 9, 2009
Arnold School Exercise Science student Heather Welch is the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship presented by Novo Nordisk, a worldwide leader in diabetes care based in Denmark.
Welch, vice president of the USC club tennis team, received the scholarship as part of a 2009 National Novo Nordisk Donnelly Award presented to her by tennis champion Billie Jean King.
The Donnelly Awards are presented annually to young people, ages 12-21, who have diabetes and play tennis competitively in tournaments or on their school teams.
Kay Cyr of Westminster, Md. also received $5,000 from King, a co-founder of World TeamTennis (WTT), an international co-ed tennis league. The scholarship’s aim is to encourage children with diabetes to lead an active life and compete in tennis.
Welch’s team took 29th place at the 64-team USTA National Campus Championships in 2009 and also placed third in the Southern Sectional Championships.
At Spartanburg’s James F. Byrnes High School, she played No. 2 during her junior and senior years and was awarded MVP honors both years.
Welch is a Michigan native who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12. She is majoring in exercise science with an emphasis in scientific foundations.
“I would like to either become a physician’s assistant or doctor in the field of endocrinology. I really want to work with kids and adults with Type 1 diabetes,” she said.
Tennis is her favorite form of exercise. “I play three or four times a week.” But she also finds it is a wonderful way to help control her diabetes. “I have much better blood sugar readings when I exercise,” she said.
Her mother, Kelle, resides in Spartanburg. Her father, Archie, resides in Clarkston, Mich. She is currently on the Dean’s List and plans to graduate in 2011.
The Novo Nordisk Donnelly Awards are named after two long-time World TeamTennis executives and tennis champions, Diane Donnelly Stone and Tracey Donnelly Maltby, who are sisters.
Stone was an All-American and NCAA doubles champion at Northwestern University, and Maltby earned All-Big Ten honors at the University of Iowa. Both women have lived successfully with diabetes since childhood.
Novo Nordisk has been the title sponsor of the award since 2002.