Donors to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital make education possible for some of the best and brightest nursing students in the region. In 2015, generous donors provided nearly 70 scholarships to the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College so students can translate their compassion, dedication and skill into world-class care for patients.
Two scholarship students in particular were inspired by their own experiences of family illness. After much time spent in and out of hospitals with loved ones, they both knew nursing could change lives—and they vowed to use their Goldfarb scholarships to do just that.
Bree McBride, RN, BSN
“My father played a major role in my pursuit of a career in the medical field,” says Bree McBride. “I don’t remember a time when my dad wasn’t sick.”
Between heart problems, fibromyalgia and other ailments, Bree’s father made frequent visits to medical facilities throughout her childhood, and the experience wasn’t always positive. But during some of her family’s most trying times, compassionate nurses gave her father comfort and hope, and inspired Bree to follow in their footsteps.
“The best feeling I had as a child came from seeing a smile on my dad’s face after he came home from the hospital,” Bree says. “At the time, I only knew to associate his happiness with successful doctor’s visits. The nurses made a big difference in the way we felt as a family and helped my father feel more at ease. I want to be able to do that for other people.”
Bree saved for tuition, but her family’s finances were focused on her father’s medical expenses, leaving a critical financial gap.
“When I opened the scholarship letter from Goldfarb, I just started crying,” Bree says. “I gave it to my mom and she started crying, and then I showed it to my boyfriend and he started crying. I kept reading it over and over. I thought to myself, ‘Oh wow, this is really happening.’ Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to afford nursing school.”
Eventually, she wants to become a nurse practitioner and serve an underprivileged community and donate to a scholarship fund for another deserving student at Goldfarb.
“I’ve learned firsthand about how a scholarship can change the life of someone who thought they didn’t have a chance to achieve their dreams,” she says. “Now, I want to be the nurse who makes my patients say ‘she made me feel like I was the only one who mattered at the time.’ No matter what, each patient deserves respect and care.”
Learn more about Bree's experience
Hanna Marchbanks, Goldfarb Nursing Student
“Ever since I was a little girl, I loved playing doctor, caring for people, and helping people,” says Hannah Marchbanks. “Anytime someone in the family was sick, they would call me because they knew I would help.”
When her sister, Kellsie, was diagnosed with cancer at age 16, Hannah learned the critical role nursing plays in the healing process for the entire family. Over the next five years, as Kellsie battled osteosarcoma, a cancer that originates in the bones, Hannah was inspired by her sister and the nurses caring for her.
“As my sister went through her battle with cancer, I saw everything you could possibly see,” Hannah says. “Kellsie’s nurses became our hospital family. They called her ‘the Princess’ and they treated her like one. It really just inspired me.”
In the midst of her treatments and relapses, Kellsie followed her own dream to become a nurse and enrolled at Goldfarb. Two weeks into classes, her cancer returned. A year later, she died surrounded by her family and the nurses who went above and beyond to make her feel special.
“It was such an inspiration to see Kellsie be so strong and plan the rest of her life as she was going through cancer,” Hannah says. “She couldn’t be the nurse she wanted to be. So now I want to make her proud by becoming a nurse.”
Hannah decided to pick up where Kellsie left off and enrolled at Goldfarb, where she received a scholarship through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The support motivates her.
“It makes me feel like all the hard work I put into school is being recognized,” Hannah says. “Knowing someone has faith and belief in me motivates me to be the best student I can be.”
To keep Kellsie’s memory alive, Hannah and her family started a charity in her name. Kellsie’s Hope Foundation raises money for oncology research, nursing scholarships, and special trips for pediatric patients and their families.
Hannah also keeps a special memento to keep her sister by her side.
“My grandmother kept Kellsie’s Goldfarb student badge and gave it to me when I started classes,” Hannah says. “I keep it in my backpack. It makes me feel like she’s right here with me to help me be the best nurse I can possibly be.”
Learn more about Hannah's experience
To support nursing scholarships, donate online or call 314.286.0600.