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Student with rare skin disorder earns scholarship


Kyle Dowling of Quakertown received a 2019 UFIRST Scholarship – an award granted by the foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types (FIRST).

He is affected with X-linked ichthyosis – a rare, genetic skin disorder characterized by dry, cracked, scaling and thickened skin.

When asked about his goals and aspirations Dowling replied, “To bring new and emerging technology into the workplace for improved efficiency with plans to continue my education at the master’s level.”

The UFIRST Scholarship Program provides the opportunity for students affected with ichthyosis to achieve their highest educational potential,” said Moureen Wenik, executive director of FIRST. “Kyle is attending New Jersey Institute of Technology and we are thrilled to support him as he continues with his degree.” According to FIRST, each year, more than 16,000 babies are born with some form of ichthyosis, of those, approximately 300 are born with a moderate to severe form. This disease affects people of all ages, races, and gender.