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Past illness inspired career dream

First-year U of W student earns BUILDING bursary

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Bailey Chipman is one of two University of Winnipeg students who  recently earned a BUILDING Foundations Bursary.

The bursaries are for post-secondary students "who live in provincial subsidized housing, have achieved high marks and have shown a commitment to their communities," according to a release. Manitoba Housing and Community Development provides nine $1,000 bursaries to nine students.

Fellow U of W student Beverley Fredborg also earned the bursary, which was announced Dec. 6. Other winners came from schools such as the University of Manitoba, Red River College, University College of the North (Thompson) and Booth University College.

Eighteen-year-old Chipman has lived in a townhouse in the Elmwood area with her mom and brother for about six years.

She’s halfway through her first, and hopefully only, year at the U of W. She is studying pre-medical technology at the university for one more semester before she can attend a lab technician program either at Red River College or at the Health Sciences Centre.

"I want to help people figure out what’s wrong with them, and I want to get into a specialty field that helps diagnose cancers and other diseases," Chipman said.

An ongoing illness sparked Chipman’s decision to pursue a career in the medical field.

"I was pretty sick last year," Chipman recalled. "I couldn’t really eat. If I ate too much, I would throw up, and I had bad pain every time I ate, it didn’t matter how much."

As a result, Chipman lost a third of her body weight, and she still hasn’t gained much of that weight back. Ironically, the remedy was to eat a lot of junk food.

"I don’t really like eating unhealthy food," Chipman said. "I’ve always eaten healthy, so it kind of sucked."

To this day, doctors still have not figured out what was wrong with Chipman. For eight months, the Elmwood resident had difficulty eating.

A graduate of Elmwood High School, Chipman said she avoided eating too much at school and only consumed small snacks.

"I still kept up with most of my activities," Chipman said, adding she played soccer and volleyball. "It made me more tired but it was my last year, so I wanted to keep going."

Twitter: @metroWPG

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