A Program of the Medtronic Foundation

2016 Honorees

The Bakken Invitation Award recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism, and leadership. Each year, selected Honorees are invited to nominate a charity of their choice for a $20,000 grant from Medtronic Foundation.

APPLICATIONS FOR THE
2017 AWARD ARE OPEN

Start Your Award Application Today by Sharing an Inspiring Story >

Kwanele Asante

Kwanele Asante

Sunninghill, South Africa
Cardiac disease

"MAKE THE WORLD MORE EQUITABLE."
Kwanele uses her extra life to advocate for the health rights of indigent Africans with cancer.

Kwanele's story

Phil Bemis

Phil Bemis

Rosemount, Minnesota, USA
Cardiac disease

"EVEN THE SMALL THINGS MATTER."
After receiving a new heart valve at the age of 82 due to chronic heart problems, Phil’s life changed for the better and he hopes to expand the positive effect of singing and music on others.

Phil's story

Grant Recipient:
Alive & Kickin
Lucia Deganutti

Lucia Deganutti

Cividale del Friuli (UD), Italy
Urological disorder

"BECOME AN EMPOWERED PATIENT."
Lucia has interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). She decided to donate part of her extra life to advocate for patients to attain an early diagnosis and the best treatments available.

Lucia's story

Victoria Buiza Fernandez

Victoria Buiza Fernandez

Seville, Spain
Obesity

"IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. I WILL CARRY AND SUPPORT YOU."
Obesity severely impacted the quality of Victoria’s life for years. Victoria now collaborates with health professionals in the fight against obesity.

Victoria's story

Fran Heitzman

Fran Heitzman

Bloomington, Minnesota, USA
Cardiac disease

"GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING – GIVE IT AWAY!"
Fran received a pacemaker following a quintuple bypass surgery in 1993. He is now 91 years old and continues to volunteer so people transitioning out of homelessness and poverty in his community can receive household goods they need.

Fran's story

Grant Recipient:
Bridging
Elisabetta Iannelli

Elisabetta Iannelli

Rome, Italy
Cancer

"LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, ALWAYS!"
At the age of 24, Elisabetta was diagnosed with ductal invasive metastatic breast cancer. She uses her extra life to change the lives of people dealing with cancer.

Elisabetta's story

Eric Jordan

Eric Jordan

Matthews, North Carolina, USA
Stroke

"SMILE FOR NO REASON AT ALL SEVERAL TIMES A DAY."
Eric was a professional opera singer when in 2012, he suffered a massive stroke. He dedicates his extra life to music therapy.

Eric's story

Grant Recipient:
Music therapy program of the Queens University of Charlotte
Cajsa Lindberg

Cajsa Lindberg

Eskilstuna, Sweden
Type 1 Diabetes

"IT’S OKAY TO MOURN THE LIFE YOU ONCE HAD."
Cajsa was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002 and started using an insulin pump in 2006. She believes this has given her extra life, which she uses to give back to a community that supported her when she needed it the most.

Cajsa's story

Grant Recipient:
Ung Diabetes
R.T. Rybak

R.T. Rybak

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Cardiac disease

"DON’T FEAR DIVERSITY; EMBRACE IT."
While cross-country skiing, R.T. Rybak had a heart attack. A three-term mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. is using his extra life as a community advocate, serving as president and CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation and a member of the leadership council of Generation Next.

R.T.'s story

Grant Recipient:
Generation Next
Yongkuan Shen

Yongkuan Shen

Nanjing, China
Parkinson’s disease

"CEASE TO STRUGGLE, AND YOU CEASE TO LIVE."
Yongkuan volunteers at the Chinese Red Cross Foundation and serves as president and co-founder of Jiangsu Parkinson’s Association, raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease and its treatment options.

Yongkuan's story

Roberta Alves Silva

Roberta Alves Silva

Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Type 1 Diabetes

"BE THE AUTHOR OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL STORY: YOURS!"
Roberta was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 14 years old. She volunteers for a program that offers young people living with diabetes activities, support, and the opportunity to share experiences.

Roberta's story

Grant Recipient:
Association in Diabetes
Leah Stoltz

Leah Stoltz

New York, New York, USA
Scoliosis

"DO IT FOR THE NEXT GIRL."
Much of Leah’s early life was limited by scoliosis. Today, she empowers and supports girls diagnosed with scoliosis.

Leah's story

Grant Recipient:
Curvy Girls
Jack Terschluse

Jack Terschluse

Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Type 1 Diabetes

"BUILD BRIDGES TO THOSE DIFFERENT FROM YOU."
Jack was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11. As a result of his new life, Jack started a global nonprofit, Penpals United, which offers online support groups to children with type 1 diabetes in resource-poor communities worldwide.

Jack's story

Grant Recipient:
Penpals United
Natalia Titova

Natalia Titova

Kiev, Ukraine
Neurological condition

"NEVER GIVE UP."
Natalia was diagnosed with torsion dystonia. She now advocates for people with torsion dystonia and hopes to support rehabilitation programs for patients.

Natalia's story

Wang XinJie

Wang XinJie

Beijing, China
Diabetes

"LEARN FROM OTHERS."
Wang is dedicated to give back after he received encouragement and support from patients during his treatment.

Wang's story

Our community is growing

Our community is growing

TELL US HOW YOU LIVE ON, GIVE ON
WITH THE HELP OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

Share your story with us, and show the world how you are making a difference. For every story, the Medtronic Foundation will donate $10 to Project HOPE.

Share Your Story