Kevin Child was one month short of college graduation when he died of complications from AIDS in 1989. In his memory, and in acknowledgement that living with hemophilia can be a challenge when seeking higher education, the Child family created the Kevin Child Scholarship. The scholarship awards $1,000 to a high school senior with hemophilia A or B who aspires to attend college or vocational school, or to a college student pursuing a secondary degree.
The 2010 winner of the Kevin Child scholarship is Perseus Patel, 21, who has severe hemophilia A. Born in Mumbai, India, Patel relied on icepacks, painkillers and rest to treat his bleeding disorder for the first 10 years of his life. Repeated knee bleeds confined him to bed for three years. His parents then emigrated to the United States, so he could obtain the treatment he needed.
In his new home of Hercules, California, Patel thrived not only physically, but also academically. At Albany High School, he was a “commended student” in the National Merit® Scholarship Program and an “AP Scholar” for superior performance on Advanced Placement (AP) tests.
Currently an honors student in his second year at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Patel has participated in a service-learning program at the Geriatrics Medicine Practice at UCLA Santa Monica. He is a member of the Domestic Relations Committee of the Fellowship for International Service and Health (FISH), which partners with doctors in the community and travels frequently to Mexico to provide triage care and health services to people in need.
Patel has conducted independent research with Anurag Agrawal, MD, a third-year hematology/oncology fellow at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, that examines and ranks risk factors for clots in children diagnosed with cancer. He is currently researching therapeutics for Huntington’s disease at the UCLA Reed Neurological Research Center. For the past two years, Patel has worked with several pharmaceutical companies and the Hemophilia Federation of India to create a camp there for children with hemophilia and their families.
Patel plans to attend medical school and specialize in hematology. “After reading about the struggles that Mr. Child endured, as well as his continued determination to pursue a college education, it is truly an honor to be selected as a recipient,” he says.