Several months ago, I was asked to judge this year’s Mesothelioma Help scholarship essay contest. I immediately said yes, what a wonderful way to give back! Then, I was told they would like to name the scholarship for my father, and I was floored. What a beautiful honor and tribute to my Dad. I can just hear him now saying that he had made the big time! I was elated to find that this accolade would be shared with Jan Egerton, another beautiful person that I was privileged to communicate with, who lost her battle to mesothelioma over this year.
The Jan Egerton and Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarship will be awarded to ten students from colleges and universities across the United States. The awards range from $5,000 to $100. The essays will be judged by me and Lisa Hyde-Barrett, a thoracic surgery nurse.
The underlying goal of this scholarship is to help the educational efforts of students while raising awareness of mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos. What a wonderful way to get the younger community involved and to educate them about this terrible disease! With the annual number of deaths caused by mesothelioma increasing, we need more advocates to fight for those who suffer from it and those who love them.
Students may choose from three topics:
- A mesothelioma survivor’s story.
- The history of asbestos use in America
- The latest developments in the treatment of mesothelioma.
For more details on the contest, please visit: Jan Egerton and Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarship.
I look forward to reading the wonderful submissions this year and to helping more youth become involved in the fight against mesothelioma. My hope is that many eyes will be opened and our number of supporters will vastly increase. Best of luck to all and God bless you!