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Joshua Hutchins is a sophomore at University of North Carolina Wilmington and the recipient of the 2022 WakeMed Megan Champ Morgan Scholarship, benefitting WakeMed employees and their dependents who pursue post-secondary education in health sciences. The fund was established by former WakeMed president & CEO Ray Champ and his wife, Meredyth, through the WakeMed Foundation and in memory of their daughter Megan’s legacy of kindness, service and giving back.

With an expected graduation of Spring 2026, Joshua proved a worthy recipient of the $10,000 scholarship, which was applied to his Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters. He earned the Academic All-America student-athlete recognition, maintaining As in his nursing pre-requisite courses while working toward his nursing degree.

“I’ve wanted to be in the medical field since middle school,” shares Joshua. “In my senior year of high school, I landed on nursing because I have a lot of family in this field, including three aunts and a cousin. Plus, when my dad was dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), I remember his nurse taking such good care of him and our family.”

Joshua’s mom, Kerry Hutchins, also works in the medical field as a physical therapist at WakeMed Outpatient Physical Therapy. She recently celebrated her 20th year of dedicated, patient-focused care and couldn’t be more proud of her son.

“Joshua is doing very well. He has worked so hard already to earn this nursing degree, and when he recently won the Academic All-America student-athlete recognition while playing rugby, it was extra special. His dad, my late husband, Phil, would be very proud of him.”

An Untimely ALS Diagnosis

As part of the application process for the Megan Champ Morgan Scholarship, Joshua had to submit an essay describing his future educational and career goals. Joshua submitted a touching essay about losing his father to ALS and how his early experiences and family history led him to pursue the field of nursing.

In August 2009, Joshua’s dad was initially diagnosed. Just 16 months later, in December 2010, he passed away.

Tears streaming, Kerry reflects on that memory. “Toward the end of one of his triathlons, he fell coming out of the water, and he couldn’t get on his bike. Our immediate thoughts went straight to ALS because his father had passed away six years prior to that, so my husband’s diagnosis came more quickly than most. We did not know that it could be familial, and it’s a very small percentage of cases of ALS that are, but because it has been classified as familial that means each of Phil’s five siblings and our two boys have a 50/50 chance of receiving a diagnosis. It has taught us to live life fully and intentionally.”

Joshua has truly exemplified purposeful living since his dad transitioned. His memories of that season remain with him.

“I was six years old in first grade when I lost my dad. My little brother was four. I have a year or two of memories stored of life with my dad.

“I knew I wanted to do something where I could help people because I saw how our nurse helped my dad. As a future nurse, I will be able to help people, which, I know, will make my dad proud.”

An adrenaline junkie, Joshua, like his dad, wants an active and exciting life. His goal is to work in the prison system or in conjunction with the police department, helping patients with the most emergent needs.

A Special Connection to the Champs and a Grateful Heart

Similar to Kerry and Joshua’s untimely loss, the Champs, too, lost their daughter early in her life. At just 45-years-old, Megan Champ Morgan passed away. After graduating from Meredith College, she made a career in the banking and the financial industry and was known for her generous spirit. Just as Joshua is honoring his dad by living a purposeful life, the Champs have honored their daughter by establishing this scholarship to benefit numerous health scholars.

Kerry adds, “This scholarship was personally meaningful because Ray Champ was the President and CEO of WakeMed when I first started working here. He was the type of leader who would walk the halls. He knew the name of every employee and would call out greetings to staff by name. I have tremendous respect for him — and knowing that he has gone through that loss, he and his wife, I feel a special connection to them.”

Today, Joshua and Kerry are incredibly grateful.

Joshua reflects, “I was pretty excited and surprised about winning because it was the biggest scholarship that I had applied for. Their investment in my education was very impactful in my freshman year, allowing me to focus on school and getting involved on campus. Their commitment to the next generation’s future is amazing.”

About the Megan Champ Morgan Scholarship

Employee dependents seeking to complete a post-secondary education at an accredited not-for-profit institution of higher learning who intend on enrolling in one of the following areas: Health Sciences, Elementary or Secondary Education, Computer Sciences or Information Technology.

Megan Champ Morgan Scholarship: $10,000 per individual

Learn more.

About WakeMed Foundation

For over 60 years, the WakeMed Foundation the extraordinary care that WakeMed provides has inspired countless donors to invest in our vision to serve all those that need us.

From new facilities, innovative health programs, to meeting the needs of our patients and staff, philanthropy plays an important role in supporting WakeMed’s mission.

You can make a tremendous difference with your support!

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