Oct 21, 2020

The National Hemophilia Foundation is delighted to announce that Brian Duval of Golden Valley, MN was selected as the recipient of the 2020 Kevin Child Scholarship (KCS). Brian has severe hemophilia A and is currently attending the University of Nebraska as a sophomore, where his focus is finance and political science.

Not even 20 years old, Brian has already demonstrated a passion for patient advocacy and government relations. In 2019 he lobbied on behalf of individuals with bleeding disorders with the Hemophilia Foundation of Minnesota/Dakotas at NHF's annual “Washington Days” advocacy event. In fact, not only was Brian the first high school student from Minnesota to participate in this critical lobbying event, he was also one of the youngest people to represent the “Land of 10,000 Lakes!” Brian has brought his burgeoning advocacy skills to local events in his own local area as well, including to the state Capitol Rotunda in Saint Paul where delivered a speech to further bleeding disorders awareness, as part of Minnesota Rare Disease Day in March 2019.  

Brian excelled academically in high school and now, as a college student at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), where he made the dean's list in both the fall of 2019 and spring 2020 semesters. As a high school senior Brian participated in a national competition through DECA (leaders formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America), a nonprofit student organization that prepares emerging leaders. He has also been hired by UNL to be a Resident Assistant for the 2020-2021 academic year, a position befitting his maturity and interest in community. In his spare time Brian volunteers at a local cat shelter, further exhibiting his care for creatures big and small, while he also embraces the entrepreneurial spirit as he manages a side business selling vintage clothing.

Brian and his family have experienced their fair share of hardships and challenges, which has no doubt informed his sense of empathy, accountability, and a perspective beyond his years. He brings these traits to all the communities to which he is engaged.  

Brian would like to see his evolving skillset and dedication to helping others eventually coalesce into a future in advocacy. In his personal statement, Brian shared that “As a hemophiliac, it is important that I am armed with the skills and experience to act as my own nest advocate the influence policy change. Hemophilia is an incredibly expensive disorder that affects a very small segment of the population, so our community is in need of vocal leaders who can stand up and advocate for us.”

This (long-standing) scholarship is named in tribute to Kevin Child, who died of AIDS in 1989, shortly before graduating from college. In honor of Kevin's legacy, the Child family hopes this scholarship program will provide some assistance for students striving to acquire a higher education.

The Child family selected Brian as this year's KCS award recipient from among 28 other promising candidates. In making their selection, they believed Brian was striving to achieve goals very similar to the ones that Kevin always set for himself.  

The application deadline for next year's KCS will be posted on NHF's website in early 2021.  

The scholarship is awarded annually to a student with hemophilia A or B who is either a high school senior planning to attend an institution of higher education or a student already pursuing a post-secondary education.  

To further sustain this long-standing scholarship program and the students it supports, please visit NHF's dedicated KCS donation page.