The Michaeyla Nadeau Memorial Fund at Award USA
Established in 2020, the fund honors the life of Michaeyla Nadeau, an adventurous and courageous teen that inspired everyone around her with her strength, ambition, sense of purpose, positivity, and perseverance. The purpose of the fund is to increase access to the Award by providing financial assistance to young people in need, so they can pursue their adventures, create their own meaningful journeys, and find their purpose, passion, and place in this world as Michaeyla did. She exemplified the spirit of the Award by her passion for adventure, her ambition to take on new challenges, her ability to overcome obstacles, and her generous service to others.
Michaeyla was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2014. Despite multiple rounds of chemotherapy, numerous surgeries, extended hospital stays, and leg amputation in 2018, she faced her challenges with determination, grace, and a maturity that was wise beyond her years. Her battle with cancer and physical condition didnât stop her love for adventure or the ability to pursue her goal of climbing mountains. Mount Trashmore, in Virginia Beach was her favorite place. Her climbs up Mount Trashmore represented her cancer journey and ever upwards battle of overcoming any obstacle put in her way with confidence and resilience. She was all about exploring and traveled to many new places. Michaeyla was a National Honor Student and her longterm ambition was to study engineering at MIT. So, she entered a writing contest and won a trip to the MIT campus and met the president. She also was able run Amazon for a day in Reading, Massachusetts and made a lime green robot. They were so impressed with Michaeyla that they have a walkway named after her called âInspiration Pointâ and offered her an internship after she graduates.
Michaeyla had a generous heart, taking time to educate and inspire others dealing with adversity. She was active in many Crush Cancer campaigns to support cancer research. She was a Daily Points of Light Award honoree for her work as a patient advocate for children with cancer and other illness. She was a charter member of the Childrenâs Hospital of the Kingâs Daughters and was a member of the Patient/Family Advocacy Council in Norfolk Virginia. Michaeyla wrote and sang a song called Stronger to give other kids hope when facing cancer. Kids throughout North America have heard her empowering song of encouragement, hope, and strength.
Michaeyla was working on her Bronze Award before her passing in January 2020. She leaves behind a powerful legacy of courage, strength, perseverance, and resilience. She was a positive influence wherever she went and was an extraordinary inspiration to so many people. We are so honored to have Michaeyla as part of The Duke of Edinburghâs International Award USA Family. Her adventurous spirit continues on.
QUOTES FROM MICHAEYLA
âLife is not going to wait around on you, and you shouldnât wait around for it.â
âI just count my blessings and remember what Iâm thankful for.â
âYou just gotta keep fighting and really stay strong because thatâs what I do in my battle every day.â
âThereâs always something more you can give. I know Iâm helping someone else.â
âWhen life gets a little harder, you have to pick yourself back up and be a little bit stronger.â
âI like adventures and doing things that I think I canât do â pushing myself and challenging myself.â
âWhen I get to go on adventures and get to challenge myself and do fun things, I feel like I accomplished something that I set my mind to.â
To find out more about Michaeyla and her incredible legacy and life lessons, check out these stories: