Dianne Vitkus

Charlestown, MA

Dianne’s Bio

Dianne, a 29-year-old born and raised in a small town in upstate New York, sustained a lifethreatening
fall leaving her with a C6 spinal cord injury and permanently paralyzed from her
chest down in July of 2020. Ever since, she has been working tirelessly to get back to the life she
once knew, full of sport, travel and adventure. Dianne grew up as a three sport athlete and then
went on to play collegiate lacrosse at the D1 level. During her junior year she studied abroad in
Greece and traveled throughout the Europe. After college she remained active and ran the Marine
Corps Marathon in 2019, just nine months before her injury. But she has not let this recent
adversity keep her from having sport in her life. She has tried adaptive rock climbing,
handcycling, hiking, sailing, rowing and skiing – just to name a few. By sharing these adventures
she wants to show others that being in a wheelchair does not have to limit your ability and spirit
to explore and be active.

Read Dianne’s Essay

Read Dianne’s Recommendation

Dianne Vitkus
Dianne Vitkus

My Core Values

  1. Let go of the things you can't control
  2. Listen to your body and take care of it
  3. Allow yourself to accept help
  4. Never stop smiling
  5. Be patient and kind to strangers
  6. Be the best friend, sister, daughter, aunt I can be
  7. Be spontaneous
  8. Never stop traveling, exploring, adventuring
  9. See the good in people
  10. Inspire others
  11. Try new things and put yourself in uncomfortable positions
  12. Never stop striving to be better

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The Foundation has awarded more than 150 Adventure Scholarships to people who have a dream, believe in the Core Values Matter philosophy and were able to demonstrate financial need. Our Adventure Scholars are a distinctive group of students, athletes, and others. We believe you'll find someone here you can identify with, or perhaps you will help us make this outstanding team of individuals even more diverse and inclusive.

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Kierce Thompson

Frederick, MD