- Michael McLean
Michael McLean is a 2020-2021 recipient of the Nurses’ Educational Funds, Inc. Scholarship. He is a husband, the father of 3 small boys, and is currently in pursuit of his Masters in Nurse Anesthesia from the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, which is affiliated with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Prior to nursing, Mike’s younger brother Eric became ill with acute myelogenous leukemia, and everything Mike has done since has revolved around his fight with the disease. He changed majors and earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then spent the next nine years in research, two of those at the Washington University School of Medicine. In his brother’s honor, he also founded the Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric (L.I.F.E.), a 501(c)(3) non-profit that can be found at www.givetolife.org. Through competing in Ironman triathlon competitions and raising awareness, L.I.F.E. has gone on to raise over $250,000 for patient financial assistance and research funding.
While working in research in Madison, Mike met his future wife, Megan. After she returned home in St. Louis to pursue her own future in nursing at the Goldfarb School of Nursing, Mike stayed back in Wisconsin near his brother. Over the course of Eric's 9-year battle with AML, Mike spent many days and nights at his brother’s bedside in the hospital and was always amazed by the level of care Eric received. In 2003, Mike and his brother were an identical match for his first of three bone marrow transplants. The thought of paying that forward to help someone else’s family or friend, as well as his wife Megan’s inspiring pursuit of a career in nursing, was all of the motivation Mike needed to go back to nursing school and become an ICU nurse and treat critically-ill patients. Following his brother’s death in 2012, Mike enrolled at the Goldfarb School of Nursing where he received his Bachelor’s degree. Following graduation, he began his new career in a level 1 Trauma-Neuro ICU.
Mike’s brother was always furthering himself. Even in between treatments, Eric still managed to work towards obtaining his master’s in business from Marquette University. Realizing that his brother was not given the same opportunity at life, Mike is making sure to never waste a single day and always do his best. Consequently, he is now ready to take his career to the next level as a Certified Registered Nurse Anethetist, (CRNA). His goal is to be able to provide his patients with the safest, most pain-free level of care possible, and with a smile. He is incredibly thankful to his family, friends, coworkers, educators and to Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. for helping him make his goal a reality.