Darlene's motto for life:
“WE AS HUMAN BEINGS STEP INTO THE RING
OF LIFE, GET KNOCKED DOWN BUT THROUGH THE RESILIENCE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, WE GET UP ONCE MORE. "
Darlene was an inquisitive, exuberant, and fun-loving child who wore glasses. Even at an early age, she read books, played piano, and painted on her easel. This was until, one day, her fingers tightened while playing the keys on her piano and her hands stiffened while trying to paint a portrait. As a young girl, Darlene was often tired and achy with multiple medical challenges. At the time, she and her family were confused and scared as to what was happening because she didn’t feel well often, and they didn't know why. At 15 years old she was finally diagnosed with lupus. Frightened by the word lupus, Darlene read all she could to understand her disease but more importantly learned how to LIVE her BEST LIFE with lupus. She learned how to use guided imagery* to help manage her pain. “Think the pain away,” she would say and use various methods such as meditating, yoga, painting, or journaling. On bad days she would write down all the things she wanted to do and then on good days when up to it, she'd go do exactly all those activities she wrote about.
In later years she had her illustrations published in a book she wrote about what a girl could achieve who wore glasses. Darlene pushed herself to GET UP, DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY and FEEL INSPIRED. Her faith was another component that helped her live well. Darlene graduated summa cum laude from Temple University and was employed at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where she met and married Tom Croce. Her passionate spirit also led her to volunteer at the Lupus Foundation of America becoming the co-president of the Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter and creating the Living Well with Lupus Symposium which still exists today. Darlene lived a full, happy, and productive life. Darlene's Scholarship was created not only to honor her memory, but to inspire you to be encouraged and live a life fueled by your own spirit of resiliency. *Guided imagery focuses on positive or pleasant imagery to allow the mind to move away from physical and psychological pain, which may lead to a decrease in anxiety, stress, and/or pain.
Details about the Scholarship
The Darlene Croce Lifeknocks Get Up Once More Scholarship (Scholarship) supports children and teens living with lupus to attend a summer or extracurricular program or camp in 2022. While not required, preference will be given to activities and programs that focus on the creative arts. The Scholarship is not an endorsement of any particular activity or program.
• Scholarships awarded must be used in the year they are awarded.
• Scholarships will cover program fees of up to $450 per award.
• Awards are made annually, and applicants can apply each year but are not guaranteed a scholarship regardless of prior years’ approvals.