2020 Winner of the Enduring Minds First Annual Scholarship

Hello ladies and gents,

My name is Teresa Murphy. I go by Smurf. I am a current NC paramedic for Alamace County EMS and a full time student. I have a degree in web technologies that I earned in 2015, but I quickly learned it wasn’t my career choice. I was diagnosed in 2016 with idiopathic intracranial hypertension. I have been a high GPA student ever since I started college in 2010. Up until my diagnosis I suffered daily from migraines. Doctor after doctor didn’t listen to me and told me it was growing pains. Well finally after a 43 day migraine that doctors or myself couldn’t break, I was finally referred to WFBH neurology. I walked in for my appointment and was diagnosed on the spot. Of course I was sent for a spinal tap, but I was diagnosed even before I walked out of the office. I thought there was finally hope. I was put on the meds for this condition and quickly learned I was allergic to them. I was back to square one as my neurologist didn’t do surgery and hardly sent people to that step.

In the mean time, while suffering with migraines, I continued to go back to school. I pursued my NC EMT, then my NC Paramedic. I graduated with my NC Paramedic Oct 16th, 2018 and had my first brain surgery 2 days later. I had stents placed. All the while, I was still enrolled working towards my associates degree in EMS. May 9th, 2019 I had my VP shunt placed. May 17th, 2019 I walked at graduation and received my Associates in applied science in EMS. I am still in school working towards my associates in Emergency and disaster management and fire protection technology. I pay for school out of pocket thanks to the limit to how much financial aid you can get.

My motivation comes from within. I could have let idiopathic intracranial hypertension take me out of the game, but I didn’t. There are days that all I do is sleep after my shift in EMS. There are days that I don’t have the motivation to work on school work, but I do what I can. I do have accommodations in the classroom because of this condition and I have some great teachers where I go to school. I am currently enrolled at Rowan Cabarrus community college. Last semester I had a set back as I had medical issues pop up outside of IIH. But I am pushing towards graduating in December. I was supposed to graduate in may, but with all the stuff going on in the world, that’s not going to happen.

Up until last year when I found the support groups on facebook, I was all alone when it came to this disease. Through these groups I have found some great people. I don’t have family support. It’s all on me to get myself up and push myself to achieve what I have achieved. I am currently a 3.5gpa student. 

Enduring Minds The Foundation Scholarship!!

1.Have an official diagnosis of Intracranial Hypertension 

2.Have had surgery related to IH 

3. Have a financial need for funds 

4.Fill out questions and turn in essay 

5.Attend a College/University/Training Program

6.Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher


1.What was your experience enduring this illness and going to school? 

2.Tell us the most important lesson you’ve learned since diagnosis?

3.What was your motivation to keep going in school?

4.Explain your dreams once you graduate?

5.Tell us about someone who has inspired and helped you through your time in school? 

6.Write a one page essay,250 words or more about one of the hardest times you’ve had with this illness and what you learned from it? Explain how you’ll use what you learned in your studies and your career? 


Please include a cover page with the questions including your name, address, contact information, school you’re attending, and a paragraph on why you applied for this scholarship. The Scholarship questions cover page and essay are due no later than March 16th ,2021. The winner will be notified April 2nd, 2021 where they will receive their $250 to use as they see fit for books, tuition, or supplies! Send all inquires and applications to For questions please call us at 614-599-2781. At Enduring Minds we believe we can endure anything together and we’re always eager to help!

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