Below are the Scholarship Finalists for 2017 in alphabetical order:

2017 MesotheliomaHelp Scholarship Essay Contest Finalists

1st Place Winner

Matthew HadfieldMatthew Hadfield

I am currently a third year medical student and aspiring medical oncologist. Prior to medical school I worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. I feel very passionate about mesothelioma advocacy. I have seen first hand the devastating impacts of this disease. I believe awareness regarding exposure risks is integral to limiting the number of people diagnosed each year. The message I would like to give families fighting mesothelioma is that you’re the definition of courage. Never lose hope, you are my inspiration. Read my Essay

2nd Place Winner

Jade GoldenJade Golden

I am currently studying at MCPHS University to become a physician assistant. My mom was diagnosed with mesothelioma when I was a senior in high school and passed away shortly after I graduated college. She inspired me to pursue a career in healthcare. I hope someday to share my knowledge and compassion with patients and their families who are dealing with difficult situations like the one my mom and family went through during her battle with cancer. The message I would like to share with families fighting with mesothelioma is to let them know that the road ahead is tough but stay positive. It is great to be strong, but it is also important to recognize when other family members need support too. Read my Essay

3rd Place Winner

Sara SchmidtSara Schmidt

I’m a first year graduate student at the University of Southern California. My father was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2001 and passed away in 2002. I try to raise awareness about mesothelioma by asking more questions about products and services. I try to inform people about the dangers of asbestos exposure. The message I would like to share with families fighting mesothelioma is to try to forget the “why me” questions and focus on treatment, quality of life and educating people about the disease. Read my essay.

4th Place Winner

Heather JohnsonHeather Johnson

I’m a wife and mom of 4 wonderful children and currently working on my RN. My oldest is also in college. I love to live life to the fullest. My favorite saying that I learned from my Dad is “Living the Dream” when anyone asks how I am doing. When I talk with people about mesothelioma, it amazes me, in my area especially, how many people have not heard of it. The message I would like to give families fighting with mesothelioma is to remember to weigh the quality of life of the one affected against what possible treatments may allow you to extend the time you have with your loved one. Quality of life does not always mean longer. Read my Essay

5th Place

Vasiliki KampasVasiliki Kampas

My name is Vasiliki Kampas, and I am an aspiring social worker. I want to earn my B.A. in social work and then earn a M.A. and Ph.D. My dream is to work with Child Protective Services and make sure children feel safe and cared for. I love children and want to make a difference in their lives. The message I would like to give families fighting with mesothelioma is “You are brave, you are strong, you are loved!” Read my essay.