James "Rhio" O'Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund

Cashes prizes from $50 to $5,000 for essay contest

Over $10,000 in cash awards available to undergraduate college students

Rhio O'Connor was a remarkable man. He 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.

Rhio survived by intensively researching his cancer. He spent hours in the library and spoke to countless doctors, researchers and patients. He learned what various therapies offered, their long and short term side effects, and the theories and philosophies behind them.

Through this rigorous educational process, Rhio was able to help create his own therapeutic protocol along side the clinicians that he selected. He also developed the capacity to exercise informed consent that was truly fact based and informed.

This extraordinary intellectual effort along with Rhio's optimistic spirit, belief in something greater than himself, and the ability to make tough choices helped him beat his prognosis and live with a cancer considered "incurable" for many years.

Deadline Information

Deadline: Ongoing

Deadline is the last day of each month (Nov-June)

Application Process

Undergraduate 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 of 700-1,500 words about what they would do if they faced the same challenges that Rhio faced. For example, 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 chemo, radiation and surgery if they had little to offer? What resources would you use to make an informed decision? Essays will be scored by a review board composed of College Professors.

Applications should be emailed to aelliott@cancermonthly.com.

The cash awards are:

$5,000 First Prize

$2,000 Second Prize

$1000 Third Prize

$500 Fourth Prize

$100 Fifth Prize

$50 Honorable Mention (there are thirty Honorable Mention awards)

For more specific information, visit the scholarship website.