James "Rhio" O'Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund
Over $10,000 in cash awards available to college students
James "Rhio" O'Connor
$5,000 First Prize
$2,000 Second Prize
$1,000 Third Prize
$500 Fourth Prize
$100 Fifth Prize
$75 Honorable Mention (there are thirty Honorable Mention awards)
Rhio O'Connor was diagnosed with a deadly cancer and given a year to
live. Instead of giving up he found his own path to health and outlived
his prognosis by more than six years. This path to health included: vitamins,
minerals, a healthy (primarily vegetarian) diet, and mind-body medicine.
This protocol along with Rhio's ability to engage in research, work with
licensed clinicians, foster an optimistic spirit, and make tough choices
helped him beat his prognosis and live with a cancer considered "incurable"
for many years.
On January 22, 1971 President Nixon declared a "war on cancer"
during his state of the Union Address. Since then the National Cancer
Institute has expended an estimated 100 billion dollars in its search
for a cure. Even with all this investment, many cancer patients are not
as fortunate as Rhio. Today, cancer is the leading cause of death in adults
under the age of 85 and is the leading cause of death by disease in children.
Conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery
have proven to be very limited in providing a cure for most patients.
It is estimated that it costs over $400 million to bring a new cancer
drug to market. Alternative therapies like the ones used by Rhio are considered
highly controversial because they are untested and unproven in clinical
trials. One reason that they are untested is because it is unattractive
for pharmaceutical companies to invest significant funds in a cancer therapy
to test it and bring it to market if the therapy cannot be patented. Most
alternative therapies are not readily patentable because they occur in
nature and were not invented.
Undergraduate and graduate students at colleges and universities in the
United States are invited to honor Rhio's spirit of self determination
and intellectual curiosity by writing an essay.
Please write an essay about how Rhio’s story inspires you and what
you would do if you faced the same challenges that he faced. What steps
would you take if you were given a dire cancer prognosis? How would you
conduct your research and make an informed decision when choosing a treatment?
Would you look beyond chemotherapy, radiation and surgery if they had
little to offer? Do you think alternative approaches should be accessible
to you? What should be done to improve progress in curing or preventing
cancer and giving cancer patients the greatest chance of survival?
The essay must be no fewer than 700 and no more than 1,500 words in length.
To Submit Your Essay:
To receive a scholarship application which will include the rules and
deadlines please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please put the word "Scholarship" in the subject line.
Terms are subject to change without notice.