To help.

To give back.

To create healthy communities.

These are often the ideals and goals that inspire individuals to pursue a career in physical therapy. For Cherie Amor Yadao, these were the morals she lived by. A physical therapist and manager for Commonwealth Orthopedics, now OrthoVirginia, Cherie strived to make every day count, living her life to the fullest and helping her patients do the same.

On August 29, 2009, Cherie passed away at the age of 35 after a valiant fight against extrapulmonary small cell carcinoma, an extremely rare form of cancer.

In remembrance and honor of her life, the OrthoVirginia Therapy Team established the Celebrate Cherie Scholarship Fund, a scholarship designed to carry on Cherie’s legacy of generosity by helping first-year physical therapy students accomplish their dreams. Intended for students who show both academic excellence and leadership qualities, the scholarship awards $5,000 to the winner’s accredited university graduate program in physical therapy.

“Although she may no longer be with us in the physical, Cherie’s spirit and essence remains,” explains Jo-Anne Burton, PT, DPT, the Northern Virginia regional director of physical therapy at OrthoVirginia and former colleague of Cherie Yadao. “To this day, her life continuously helps better the future of the physical therapy community. OrthoVirginia is beyond proud to be a sponsor of this scholarship dedicated in the remembrance of an incredible person whose life was cut too short.”

We encourage all first-year physical therapy students who are legal residents of Northern Virginia to apply! The application deadline for this year is Saturday, May 1, 2021.

For more information on the Celebrate Cherie Scholarship Fund and how to apply, visit the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s website or email Jo-Anne Burton, PT, DPT at [email protected] or Shannon Haynie at [email protected].