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UT sophomore wins $100k Dr. Pepper scholarship

Rachel Burns pictured with her winning check

Toledo, Ohio (WNWO)-- "Never in a million years would I have thought that I'd be at this point," said Rachel burns commenting on her love for footbal.

The University of Toledo Rocket and sophomore pharmacy student has always had a love for sports, but one in particular drew her attention.

"I grew up watching football," said Burns.

Searching for scholarships, she came across Dr Pepper Tuition giveaway and she knew she had to take a chance, one that paid off big time-- 100,0000 dollars worth.

"I saw I had missed 3 phone calls from a Texas number and I had a text message that said, 'Hi Rachel my name is Tom Slovak form Dr. Pepper you're going to want to answer your phone..."

Before Burns could even get to Texas to play at the Big 12 halftime show she spent hours practicing.

"My dad built the replica and it was pretty hard trying to find some practice time between doctors appointments, schooling of course.. "

For Burns the win was special.

Not only because she beat out thousands of other students across the nation.

Not only because she made 16 balls out of 20 thrown.

For Burns the win was special because it set an examples for others just like her.

"Whether someone has cystic fibrosis or any obstacle in life, you never let anyone tell you can't do something..."

Burns was diagnosed with the genetic lung disease when she was 8. She even went on a make a wish trip in 2015 when her symptoms became severe.

"When I was diagnosed I was told I wouldn't live past the age of 17 ad I just celebrated my 20th birthday."

She wants to use her pharmacy degree to give the same help she received. With the newfound tuition money, she'll have the head start she needs to score.

"Did you ever think football would take you this far? " NBC 24's toi Creel asked the student. "No. My dad, he actually keeps joking he's like one of my kids gets to go to school on a football scholarship..." said Burns laughing.

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