Psychology, Students, Achievements
Psychology grad earns 2018 Terry Fox Gold Medal
On Jan. 20, 2014, undergrad Sarah Roberts suddenly lost the ability to sit, stand, live alone, go to school or work, or live a functional life.
She had developed a rare, inherited, connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome that causes multiple, debilitating conditions. These include an autonomic nervous system condition named Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Scoliosis, Occipital Neuralgia, and much more. She faced a bedridden life of chronic pain, and pursuing her academic career seemed hopeless.
Despite her new reality of life-changing chronic illness, however, Roberts was determined to learn to walk again.
Two years later, with the help of a team of doctors, she took her first steps and set her sights on resuming her studies at SFU. She started by taking one online course when she was still bedridden.
“I came back to school with a humbled realization that every day at school is a blessing,” she says today.
She recently finished a BA in psychology and she is overjoyed and inspired by her new chance at life.
Roberts’ courage has earned her SFU’s 2018 Terry Fox Gold Medal for a student who has demonstrated courage in the face of adversity and possesses qualities of a role model. The award includes $5,000, a gold medal and a plaque which was presented to her at this year’s Terry Fox Run on Sept. 28 at the Burnaby campus.