About the Amy Sain Memorial Scholarship Fund
The Amy Sain Memorial Scholarship Fund is being established to honor Amy Sain, a 2004 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Genetic Counseling Program. Amy passed away at the age of 36 following a five year battle with brain cancer.
Amy was an exceptional student, who achieved academic success as a graduate student while continually supporting her classmates. Sara Fitzgerald-Butt, a 2004 graduate of the Pitt program, remembers Amy for “…her endless positive outlook and happiness.” Kim McGreevy, another Pitt classmate shared a similar sentiment, “There are certain people that you just want to be around. Amy was one of those people. Whether she was your lifelong friend or you just met her, you loved Amy. She had a big laugh but an even bigger heart.” Leslie Ross lived in the same building as Amy during their years at Pitt. She recalls many evenings of laughter with Amy, making the best of their time together while dealing with the rigors of graduate work. “Having Amy and her husband, Jerry, down the hall was like having family nearby."
Following graduation from Pitt, Amy’s career in genetic counseling began in New Jersey, but Amy, a native of the Pittsburgh area, and Jerry returned to Pittsburgh to be closer to family as they started their own family with the arrival of their two children, Riley and Ryan. Amy continued practicing genetic counseling at Magee Women’s Hospital. In 2009 after experiencing some health problems, Amy was diagnosed with a gliosarcoma, a type of brain tumor. Amy endured multiple recurrences of her brain tumor and several rounds of gamma knife radiosurgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but in 2013, Amy and her family were told that all the treatment options had been exhausted.
For many months, Amy knew that her brain cancer would take her life, but she lived every day to the fullest. Her motto was “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain.” Amy’s cousin, Michelle Peck Dolby, summarized Amy’s inspirational perspective in the eulogy she presented at Amy’s funeral, “…Those words, and the sentiment behind them, bonded over 1,200 people to laugh in the face of storms and dance. How many of us were excited when it rained so that we could go out and dance? I know I was! That’s what life should be all about, right? Not waiting for the troubles to pass but instead to find joy and laughter whenever possible. Amy did that – and her journey taught and inspired us all to do that…”
The Amy Sain Memorial Scholarship Fund is a tribute to Amy’s passion for genetic counseling and life and to the ways she inspired her classmates, colleagues, friends, and family. The scholarship fund will be used to provide financial support for students in the University of Pittsburgh Genetic Counseling Program.