Gillian Mansfield

Gillian was just 11 years old when her mother received her cancer diagnosis.  She witnessed her mother enduring 5 years of harsh treatments and ultimately passing away during her junior year.  Although Gillian dealt with a devastating diagnosis of cancer within her immediate family, her strong and loving character never wavered. She is described as “kind, out-going, devoted, and loyal—a beautiful soul.” At a time when it would be easy to quit, she remained dedicated to her schooling, graduating with a 4.62 GPA.  Gillian once wrote this of her mother’s life and passing, “My mom never let cancer define her.  She defined herself.  I faced a tragic loss, and sometimes the pain is still overwhelming.  But, I learned to define myself, to chart my own course, and to enjoy the blessing of each day.” Gillian, we are proud of you and hope that you will continue to chart you own course as you move into the next chapter of your life.  She will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall.