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Jan Egerton

Jan Egerton & Don Smitley

MESOTHELIOMA
SCHOLARSHIP

Mesothelioma Help is pleased to announce the “Jan Egerton and Don Smitley Mesothelioma Scholarship.”

We are proud to offer 4 scholarships in the names of these two mesothelioma warriors.

Don Smitley

Essay Contest

The scholarship is available to students in colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Our goal is to help the educational efforts of students while raising awareness of mesothelioma, provide information about its prognosis and the dangers of being exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma cancer affects men and women – both young and old.

Prizes

  • 1st - $2,500

  • 2nd - $1,250

  • 3rd - $750

  • 4th - $500

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Essay submissions open: February 1st, 2019

  •  Essay submissions close: July 20th, 2019

  • Winners announced: September 1st, 2019

Type of Scholarship

Each winner of this essay contest will be awarded a check from the law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP.

These funds must be used to pay for college tuition ONLY.

One (1) essay per student is allowed.

Eligibility

This essay contest is open to:

  • High school students
  • Undergraduate and graduate students

who have been accepted or currently enrolled in a college or university located within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

U.S. territories are excluded.

Previous first place winners are not eligible for participation.

2018 Scholarship Winners

Mesothelioma Help is pleased to announce the 2018 Scholarship Finalists

In Remembrance Of

Jan Egerton

Jan Egerton battled mesothelioma for over 10 years and during that time she dedicated her life to raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos and to championing the researchers to continue to focus on finding a cure and new treatments for the cancer.

Jan’s husband said, “I know Jan would be delighted to have this accolade, and I would be honoured for you to use Jan’s name. This is a legacy of which she would be proud.”

Don Smitley spent his days enjoying time with his family, his dog, Charley, and playing in his bluegrass band, The Dunbar Boys.

No one ever heard Don complain or wonder, “Why me?” while he fought mesothelioma. But everyone that knew him would say that faith and a positive attitude carried him through each day.

Don’s daughter, Jennifer Gelsick, chronicled her family’s journey during mesothelioma, and now discusses life after losing a loved one to mesothelioma through her blog.

“We are so honored to have Dad’s name on the scholarship. It’s such a perfect way to remember and honor him,” said Jennifer. Jennifer will is one of the essay judges.

Don Smitley

Essay Topic

Mesothelioma is a terminal cancer diagnosed in close to 3,000 Americans each year.

The only established cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Most victims were unwittingly exposed to asbestos at work or while serving in the military.

Still others developed mesothelioma through exposure from family members coming home from work with their clothes covered in asbestos fibers.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the annual number of mesothelioma deaths is increasing.

According to experts, over 20 million people in the United States are at risk of developing malignant mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.

We believe it is important to get the facts out about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, and especially, to help educate young Americans.

Please address some or all of the following questions in your essay:

  • Share your personal story dealing with asbestos disease or cancer. Talk about how it affected your life and how/whether it impacted your education/career choice.

  • What do you hope to do with the education you are receiving to help cancer patients?

  • Why is raising awareness and educating the public about the dangers of asbestos and the impact of mesothelioma on a family important?

  • What would you say to someone who is fighting mesothelioma or to a family member who recently lost a loved one to the disease?

Details

  • Length

    The essay must be no fewer than 750 and no more than 1,500 words long.

  • Judging

    • Essays will be judged by Jennifer Gelsick, former caregiver for her father, Don Smitley, who passed away from mesothelioma in October 2013, and Lisa Hyde-Barrett, a thoracic surgery nurse.
    • Submissions will be judged on content, correctness of facts, grammar, style, and originality.
    • Judges will look for clear, original essays that are logically organized and well-supported.
  • Selection

    The judges will select the top 4 essays through the criteria listed above. 

    A page will be created on MesotheliomaHelp.org for the essays. A link to the essays will be provided to the finalists when they are notified of their placement.

    The top four winners will be notified on the dates found.

    Please refer to the FAQs for examples of appropriate and inappropriate citations.

    At conclusion of the voting period, the top five finalists will be selected and notified.

  • Notification

    • The top four finalists, as selected by the judges and will be notified via email
    • Winners will be announced to the public

To Apply to the Essay Contest

  1. Read the Rules below

  • Tell Us About Yourself

  • What drew you to this scholarship contest?
  • Name
  • Address * Required
  • Please send a small photo (head shot) and a couple sentence bio of yourself that will be posted on MesotheliomaHelp.org with your essay in the case you are selected as a finalist.
    Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf.
  • Please upload your scholarship essay
    Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
  • Your bio may be edited for length if necessary.
  • Education

  • Mesothelioma

  • Did you know what mesothelioma was before entering the contest?
  • After writing your essay, what do you know now about the disease that you didn't before?
  • Are you doing anything different now to help raise awareness of mesothelioma?
  • What message would you give to families fighting mesothelioma?

General Rules

  • Essay must solely be the original work of the contestant. Plagiarism will result in disqualification and may be reported to the appropriate authorities.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.
  • Employees of Belluck & Fox, LLP, Consultwebs.com, Inc., their boards of directors and immediate family members are not eligible for this essay contest. Immediate family members of the judges are not eligible for this essay contest.
  • All federal, state, local and other taxes and charges on prizes will be the sole responsibility of the contestant.
  • All submissions become property of the Belluck & Fox, LLP, law firm to use, reproduce, or distribute as it sees fit in its sole discretion, although authorship may be acknowledged.
  • By accepting a prize, winners grant to Mesothelioma Help the right to edit, publish, copy, display and otherwise use their essay in connection with this contest, and to further use their names and biographical information in promotional materials without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law.
  • Mesothelioma Help will make every reasonable attempt to read and have judged every essay, but Mesothelioma Help is not responsible for failure to read and/or judge an essay.
  • Any prize or other item to which a contestant may become entitled as a result of his/her participation in this contest is subject to immediate revocation in the event of a discovery of a contestant’s failure to comply with these rules.
  • The number of prizes may be changed at Mesothelioma Help sole discretion.
  • By participating in this essay contest and/or accepting a prize, contestants agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Mesothelioma Help, its managers, members, directors, officers, and employees, from and against any and all liability and costs in connection with any claim from any liability, injury, damages, cost or expense, including reasonable attorney’s fees, arising out of or connected to participation in this contest or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prizes.
  • Under no circumstances shall Mesothelioma Help, its managers, members, directors, officers, employees, agents, investors or licensors, be liable to the contestant for any indirect, punitive, special or consequential damages.
  • Depending on the number of responses, Mesothelioma Help may institute a cutoff at which time we will refuse to receive additional new applications. Therefore, if you are interested in participating in this essay contest, you should submit your application as soon as possible.
  • If there are changes to these Rules they will be sent by email and will be considered read and accepted by the contestant. If they are not acceptable, the contestant may withdraw from this essay contest.
  • Any dispute arising from this contest will be determined according to the laws of the State of New York, without reference to its conflict of law principles. The contestant’s participation in the contest shall constitute consent to the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in New York County, New York, and agreement that such courts have exclusive jurisdiction over all such disputes.

Scholarship Contest FAQs

Must I have any personal cancer experience to apply?

Must I have any personal cancer experience to apply?

No. If you are writing a personal mesothelioma survivor story, the subject can be someone you know.

I am a foreign student. Am I eligible?

I am a foreign student. Am I eligible?

Students enrolled in foreign universities/colleges are not eligible.

How do I submit my essay?

How do I submit my essay?

Please email us your essay and application to [email protected]

I am an international student. Am I eligible?

I am an international student. Am I eligible?

If you are an international student enrolled in a U.S. college or university located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, you are eligible.

I am a U.S. college student attending an international campus. Am I eligible?

I am a U.S. college student attending an international campus. Am I eligible?

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student who is currently enrolled at a college or university located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, and you are attending or plan to attend an international campus of that college or university, you are eligible.

I am a part-time student. Am I eligible?

I am a part-time student. Am I eligible?

If you are a part-time student who is currently enrolled in a college or university located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, and you intend to continue your enrollment on either a part-time or full-time basis after October 1, 2013, you are eligible. Otherwise, you are not eligible.

I am only 17-years-old but I have been accepted to a university. Am I eligible to apply?

I am only 17-years-old but I have been accepted to a university. Am I eligible to apply?

No. At the time you apply for the scholarship by signing the application form, you must be at least 18-years-old or older.

I am a high school student, but I am also taking college courses. Can I apply?

I am a high school student, but I am also taking college courses. Can I apply?

If you are at least 18-years-old or older and are currently enrolled on a full- or part-time basis at a U.S. college or university, you are eligible.

If I am enrolled in a nursing program or technical school, can I apply?

If I am enrolled in a nursing program or technical school, can I apply?

Yes, you can apply.

I am a college senior or graduate student and I am graduating this semester. Am I eligible?

I am a college senior or graduate student and I am graduating this semester. Am I eligible?

If you will be enrolled in a graduate program after October 2017, you are eligible. However, if you are graduating and not pursuing any additional education, you are not eligible. Winners will be awarded a check to be used toward tuition and/or expenses related to their college or university education.

Can the money received from the scholarship be used to pay tuition for a summer study abroad program or overseas study?

Can the money received from the scholarship be used to pay tuition for a summer study abroad program or overseas study?

If the summer-abroad program or overseas study program is related to your college or university education, you can apply the prize money to the program.

What about legal status? I am an immigrant and/or I don’t have a Social Security number. Am I eligible?

What about legal status? I am an immigrant and/or I don’t have a Social Security number. Am I eligible?

Essay winners must provide a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to Mesothelioma Help for issuance of a 1099 Form where appropriate.

Where will the top four finalist’s essays be posted for the voting portion of the contest?

Where will the top four finalist’s essays be posted for the voting portion of the contest?

A page will be created on MesotheliomaHelp.org for the essays. A link to the essays will be provided to the finalists when they are notified of their placement.

What is the #hashtag that will be used to promote the essays?

What is the #hashtag that will be used to promote the essays?

A unique #hashtag will be established when the public voting portion of the contest opens. When the top four finalists are notified they will be given the #hashtag. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all use #hashtags now so all of these can be used to promote the essays.

Will MesotheliomaHelp.org publicize the #hashtag and essays?

Will MesotheliomaHelp.org publicize the #hashtag and essays?

Yes. In order to help raise awareness of mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos we will also be using social media and our blog to publicize the contest and the top four essays.

What websites (pages) count toward a citation for my essay?

What websites (pages) count toward a citation for my essay?

Good academic writing is often cited (referenced via a link) on other websites and in online publications that are relevant to the topic of the writing. We consider it a major factor for your essay to be cited by another trustworthy website or online publication. Consider asking your college or university to publicize your essay or ask peers to reference it in their academic work. We reserve the right to exclude any websites from the final tally that we classify as irrelevant or inappropriate. Shares and mentions in social media sites are encouraged to get your essay visibility, however these mentions are not counted as citations.

Examples of Appropriate Citations

  • Academic article on cancer, caregivers, asbestos, harmful products, mesothelioma, etc.
  • Page on trustworthy site dealing with resources for cancer, asbestos, caregivers, etc.
  • Article in educational newsletter, school newspaper raising awareness for the scholarship and highlighting your post.
  • A business website with high-quality content that is relevant to the essay (i.e. asbestos abatement, cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, etc.)
  • Article on website with high-editorial standards. Website and article must be relevant to essay.

Examples of Inappropriate Citations:

  • A website set up for the sole purpose of linking to your essay.
  • A friend’s blog on website design.
  • A business website (non-relevant), ie. flower shop, restaurant, etc.
  • A website site with low-editorial standards.
  • A website with excessive ads.
  • A scholarship listing site.

If you are unsure about the appropriateness of a citation, feel free to email us at [email protected] prior to establishing the citation.

May I write the essay as a short story?

May I write the essay as a short story?

Yes, non-fiction short stories can be submitted.

May I include accounts of people I know who have gone through cancer treatments?

May I include accounts of people I know who have gone through cancer treatments?

Yes. However, you must first obtain written permission from the person if you use the name of a real person or any of their personal identifying information.

What type of permission?

What type of permission?

We cannot provide legal advice. You are solely responsible for the appropriateness or legality of your essay. However, as a courtesy, we remind you that if you are writing about other people, especially concerning their personal health challenges, and you place that information on the Internet, privacy laws may apply. Please speak to a lawyer if you are unsure what you must do.

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It contains a wealth of information and resources to help you better understand the condition, choose (and afford) appropriate treatment, and exercise your legal right to compensation.

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Last Modified: February 25, 2019

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