#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Julie Hadley, 36, of Windsor, CA

A born caregiver, Hadley has always wanted to be a nurse, but caring for a father battling Lou Gehrig’s disease and working two jobs to support her family took priority over her own wants. Then in 2006, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which left her deaf in one ear. Still Hadley persevered.

She will use her award to purchase a laptop and printer while attending Santa Rosa Junior College to earn a license as a registered nurse. She sees a day coming when she will be in a position to raise awareness about the symptoms and treatment options for acoustic neuromas, the tumor that almost claimed her own life.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” said Hadley. “And after I graduate, I would like to work in neurology and advocate awareness of these types of brain tumors.”

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