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Sheri-Sanford

Minnesota Student Wins Fourth Place in Mesothelioma Scholarship Contest

Mesothelioma Help is proud to help a future physician’s assistant in Minnesota achieve her education goal by awarding her $500 as part of the annual Jan Egerton & Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarship contest. Sheri Sanford, a student at Normandale Community College, was awarded the fourth-place prize in the cancer organization’s national essay contest this year.

In her essay, Sheri shared her inspiration for switching gears in her career ─ going from dreams of becoming a lawyer to pursuing a master’s degree as a physician’s assistant with a focus in oncology.

In 2016, Sheri’s uncle was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer whose only known cause is exposure to asbestos. Her uncle had spent his life working in the construction industry, one of the high-risk fields for exposure. “I lost my uncle after he caught the cancer in a very advanced stage and he died in less than a year,” she explained in her essay.

Sheri’s experience inspired her to change career paths and go into medicine so she could help other cancer patients and their families. “My uncle is not just a simple statistic. He is much more than that and Stage IV Mesothelioma will not define him. The people diagnosed with mesothelioma are real loving people,” she wrote.

“Awareness about asbestos is extremely crucial for every individual to be knowledgeable of, to prevent this crippling disease or catch it in the early stages.”

About Mesothelioma

Each year, about 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lining of the chest cavity and lungs. The cancer is caused by exposure to microscopic asbestos fibers, which are inhaled and can lodge in the body.

For decades, asbestos was commonly used in construction, industrial and household materials. Although it is recognized as a known carcinogen, asbestos is still not banned in the United States.

Mesothelioma can develop 15 to 60 years after a person was exposed to asbestos.

About the Scholarship Contest

The Jan Egerton & Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarships are named after two respected mesothelioma warriors who put up a brave fight against the devastating cancer. Four scholarships are awarded each year to deserving students in universities and colleges throughout the country.

In total, $5,000 in scholarships was awarded this year to four dedicated students. Out of dozens of impressive entries, the winners were selected based on the thoughtful and heartfelt essays they wrote.

The MesotheliomaHelp.org scholarship contest is generously funded by the nationally recognized asbestos law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP.

“We are proud to support these deserving college students in their mission to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and its long-term health effects,” Belluck & Fox managing partner Joseph Belluck explained. “As a law firm focused on fighting for those harmed by asbestos, we know how important it is to warn people about exposure, and we appreciate these students for sharing their personal stories and insights.”

About MesotheliomaHelp.org

Mesothelioma Help is a comprehensive resource for individuals and families who are coping with a mesothelioma diagnosis. The site connects patients and caregivers with knowledgeable medical providers, respected legal professionals and the most up-to-date information on treatment developments. Get directions to Mesothelioma Help now to learn more about mesothelioma.

Devin Marsh Scholarship Winner

Arizona Student Wins Third Place in Mesothelioma Scholarship Contest

MesotheliomaHelp.org is proud to award a mechanical engineering student from Northland Pioneer College in Arizona with the $750 third-place prize as part of the annual Jan Egerton & Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarship contest. Devin Marsh, a 22-year-old college junior, was one of four students from across the country to earn a scholarship in this year’s essay contest.

In his essay, The World in Relationship to Asbestos, Devin describes both his personal connection to asbestos disease and his goal of developing alternative materials to eradicate the use of asbestos around the world. In high school, Devin watched his respected automotive teacher become seriously ill due to exposure to asbestos in old brake systems. “It made me realize that there is a need for new materials that are less hazardous to the people around it,” he wrote in his essay. “People deserve to go and work in a safe environment and be given every chance to prevent exposure to things like asbestos.”

Although it is a recognized carcinogen, asbestos is still not banned in the United States and continues to be used in many countries around the world. As a future mechanical engineer, Devin hopes to help develop alternatives to asbestos that would not put workers’ lives at risk. “I could apply positive and environmentally friendly problem solving to prevent exposure to asbestos,” he wrote in his winning essay.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Asbestos has been shown to cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and many other serious illnesses. Each year, about 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lining of the chest cavity and lungs. Mesothelioma can develop 15 to 60 years after a person was exposed to asbestos. There is no cure.

About the Scholarship Contest

The Jan Egerton & Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarships are named after two respected mesothelioma warriors who put up a brave fight against the devastating asbestos cancer. The scholarships are awarded each year to deserving students in universities and colleges throughout the United States.

In total, $5,000 in scholarships was awarded this year to four hard-working students. Out of dozens of great entries, the winners were selected based on the thoughtful and heartfelt essays they submitted.

The MesotheliomaHelp.org scholarship contest is generously funded by the nationally recognized New York mesothelioma attorneys of Belluck & Fox, LLP.

“We are proud to support these deserving college students in their mission to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and its long-term health effects,” Belluck & Fox managing partner Joseph Belluck explained. “As a law firm focused on fighting for those harmed by asbestos, we know how important it is to warn people about exposure, and we appreciate these students for sharing their personal stories and insights.”

About MesotheliomaHelp.org

Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization is a comprehensive resource for individuals and families who are coping with a mesothelioma diagnosis. The site connects patients and caregivers with knowledgeable medical providers, respected legal professionals and the most up-to-date information on treatment developments. Visit MesotheliomaHelp.org now to learn more about the disease.

Sally-Whelan

Wyoming Hospice Nurse Takes Top Prize in Mesothelioma Scholarship Contest

Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization is proud to award Wyoming hospice nurse Sally Whelan with the first-place prize in the cancer organization’s annual Jan Egerton & Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarship contest. Sally was awarded $2,500 to pay for tuition as she pursues her goal of becoming a paramedic and continuing to help people in need.

In her prize-winning essay, “My Father, A Hero,” Sally shared the story of her father, a World War II veteran and a captain in the Merchant Marines, who died from pleural mesothelioma when she was 17. A strong and brave man, her father struggled to keep the disease a secret from Sally and her sisters, but his suffering was all too clear.

Watching her father try to cope with the pain of the asbestos cancer ultimately led to Sally’s career as a hospice nurse. In her job, Sally is able to help alleviate her patients’ pain and provide support for their families. Now, she hopes to build on her abilities to help people by becoming a paramedic and serving in Haiti.

Sally recently treated her second mesothelioma patient, a man who reminded her of her father, and she had some heartfelt words for anyone coping with the same tragedy her own family faced:

“For those who have loved ones battling this disease, I say you are in one of the toughest battles of your life. Continue to educate yourselves, love each other deeply, forgive freely and remember that each day together is a gift from God.”

About the Scholarship Contest

The Jan Egerton & Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarships are awarded each year to deserving students in colleges and universities across the country. The scholarships are named after two respected mesothelioma warriors who put up a brave fight against the devastating asbestos disease.

In total, $5,000 in scholarships was awarded this year to four outstanding students. Out of dozens of great entries, the winners were selected based on the well-researched and deeply personal essays they submitted.

The MesotheliomaHelp.org scholarships are generously funded by the nationally recognized asbestos law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP.

“We are proud to support these deserving college students in their mission to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and its long-term health effects,” Belluck & Fox managing partner Joseph Belluck explained. “As a law firm focused on fighting for those harmed by asbestos, we know how important it is to warn people about exposure, and we appreciate these students for sharing their personal stories and insights.”

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

About 3,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer whose only known cause is exposure to asbestos. For decades, asbestos was commonly used in many industrial, building, and household products. Still today, despite its known health effects, asbestos has not been banned in the United States.

People were typically exposed to asbestos in the workplace or during military service. Some were exposed to the deadly carcinogen in their homes.

Mesothelioma develops when microscopic asbestos fibers are inhaled and lodge in the lining of the chest wall and lungs. The cancer can develop 15 to 60 years after a person was exposed to asbestos. It is typically diagnosed in the later stages, and there is no cure.

About MesotheliomaHelp.org

MesotheliomaHelp.org is a comprehensive resource for individuals and families who are coping with a mesothelioma diagnosis. The site connects patients and caregivers with knowledgeable medical providers, respected legal professionals and the most up-to-date information on treatment developments. Visit Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization now to learn more about the asbestos diseases and leave us a review if you’ve found the information helpful.

MesotheliomaHelp.org-Awards-4-Students-5000-Scholarships

MesotheliomaHelp.org Awards 4 Students with $5,000 Total in Scholarships

As one of the top resources for mesothelioma patients across the United States, MesotheliomaHelp.org is proud to support ambitious college students in their efforts to raise awareness of this asbestos mesothelioma cancer.

Recently, the cancer organization awarded four scholarships worth a total of $5,000 to bright young people who shared their stories as part of the organization’s annual essay contest.

The Jan Egerton & Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarships are awarded each year to deserving students in colleges and universities across the United States. The scholarship contest is named after two much-admired mesothelioma warriors who put up a brave fight against the deadly asbestos cancer.

Out of dozens of heartfelt and well-researched essay entries, these four students took home the top prizes:

1st Place ─ $2,500

Winner: Sally Whelan, Creighton University or Laramie County Community College, Wyoming

2nd Place ─ $1,250

Winner: Kelley Ann McGill, Albany State University, Georgia

3rd Place ─ $750

Winner: Devin Marsh, Northland Pioneer College, Arizona

4th Place ─ $500

Winner: Sheri Sanford, Normandale Community College, Minnesota

Each student’s prize money will go toward college tuition, with the scholarships generously funded by the nationally respected mesothelioma law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP.

“We are proud to support these deserving college students in their mission to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and its long-term health effects,” Belluck & Fox managing partner Joseph Belluck explained. “As a law firm focused on fighting for those harmed by asbestos, we know how important it is to warn people about exposure, and we appreciate these students for sharing their personal stories and insights.”

About 3,000 people are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma each year in the United States. The only known cause of this devastating cancer is exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in countless industrial, building, and household products until the 1980s. Despite its known health effects, asbestos has still not been banned in the United States.

Exposure to asbestos often occurred on the job or during military service. Some people were also exposed to the deadly mineral in their homes. Mesothelioma can develop decades after a person was initially exposed to asbestos.

About Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization

Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization is a comprehensive resource for individuals and families who are coping with a mesothelioma diagnosis. The site connects patients and caregivers with specialized medical providers, recognized legal professionals and the most up-to-date information on treatment developments.

Get directions to Mesothelioma Help now to learn more about the mesothelioma cancer and leave a 5 star review if you’ve found the information helpful.

Sheri-Sanford

Sheri Sanford Mesothelioma Essay

Watching a family member or friend suffer from mesothelioma is heartbreaking and life changing for an individual. The topic was briefly mentioned in my biology class in high school as an aggressive cancer in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. As the case may be, maybe I possessed a slight degree of naiveté that allowed me to believe my family was untouchable and that would never happen to anyone I loved. I was wrong. My beloved uncle, Dale, mentioned the most horrific word imaginable in the summer of 2016: cancer.

Dale had been in the construction business his entire life, once retired he found pleasure working on his 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra. He had been in the car garage when he experienced shortness of breath and a pain in his chest. He was referred to an oncologist the same day. It took less than a week for my world to crumble around me, and he went from working on his cherished vintage car to signing over the title to someone new to help pay for cancer treatments. In my family, I took the devastating news the hardest as my uncle was like a father-figure to me, and I began to disconnect from the world. I pretended it didn’t exist, but the truth was that it was very much present and it was aggressive like a destructive tornado rushing through not only my uncle, but our entire family and friends. You see, when a family member gets cancer, it’s like everyone has the disease, because it is so crippling emotionally and physically.

I received my BA in Political Science and International Relations in the spring of 2017. For the first time in a while, I felt this strange feeling of happiness, after realizing how far I’ve come in my education I was especially proud that I made my uncle’s milestone. He wanted to see me graduate college, and he did. Watching my ceremony over Facetime, his smile was from ear to ear. My uncle unfortunately died from the disease in the summer of 2017. After initial pain, shock, and sadness of my deceased family member started to slowly fade and the lingering throb of sadness pulsated in my body for weeks on end in an endless loop of a nightmare, I decided I needed to do something to help people like my uncle and their families. I completely reversed my career choices, I began to revoke my applications to law schools that summer and decided upon an education in medicine. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Physician Assistant with a focus on Oncology. I am applying to Physician Assistant schools this summer, hoping to start next summer if accepted.

My uncle is not just a simple statistic. He is much more than that and Stage IV Mesothelioma will not define him. The people diagnosed with mesothelioma are real loving people, and like myself, most people think it will not happen to them or anyone they love when in fact “research shows more than 20 million people in the United States are at risk of developing malignant mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure” (“Mesothelioma”). Awareness about asbestos is extremely crucial for every individual to be knowledgeable of, to prevent this crippling disease or catch it in the early stages. Just education alone about asbestos seems to simple, but it is so crucial when it is life-changing knowledge. Asbestos exposure is the only cause of malignant mesothelioma. Asbestos were fibers once widely used in buildings, industrial, commercial, and housing products and it still present in millions of U.S. workplaces and homes (“Mesothelioma”). These fibers, once ingested or inhaled, take at least 15 years to creep up into your life in the form of a dangerous form of cancer. It is so important to be educated on the symptoms of mesothelioma and the locations asbestos may be present to catch the cancer early and have the longest life expectancy possible. I lost my uncle after he caught the cancer in a very advanced stage and he died in less than a year. People need to know that early detection is key to spending more time with your family and prolonging your life.

It’s hard to know what to say to an individual with mesothelioma or a family member of someone whom died from mesothelioma. Even when my hearts in the right place, it would be difficult for words to compile themselves to even make a solid sentence. It would be extremely important to me for them to know that there is no way to be truly prepared for the future and that having plenty caring and supportive people around you is crucial for healing. Walking into my uncle’s hospital room all I saw was tears, a room full of sadness and the word “cancer” radiate through the room. I wish I could be as strong for my uncle as he was strong for me. Yet, my uncles’ strength inspired me to face my fears. Hearing the word “cancer” in my uncles’ room so often, talking to a mesothelioma patient I would be sure to talk about topics other than cancer to help provide a sense of balance. I would try to stay as positive as possible and be hopeful of a brighter future. I would say to them “let me know if you need anything,” as this is especially essential considering most individuals will never ask for help even though they need it. I truly have gone through the experience of having a sick family member, and I could shed some light onto their experiences and grieving process in a positive way. Staying strong, never, ever giving up and letting them know they are not alone is key. I will never forget my uncle and the memories we shared, and I hope going in the Oncology field, I am able to keep his spirit alive helping other individuals suffering from mesothelioma.

References:

“Mesothelioma Statistics.” MesotheliomaHelp.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.

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