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The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance recently caught up with Olivia Current, a four-year Acute Myeloid Leukemia survivor and the first recipient of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship. Since her diagnosis at age 16, Olivia has been beating the odds and looking forward to her dream of becoming a pediatric nurse. In the future, Olivia hopes to inspire, encourage, and heal other sick children. Here’s what Olivia had to say:
MCA: You are the inaugural Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship winner! What have you been up to since then?
Olivia Current: I am so thankful to be the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship winner! Lately, I have been going to school 4 days a week, going to dialysis three days a week, working out a couple days a week, and still trying to have a social life.
MCA: What does being awarded this scholarship mean to you?
OC: This scholarship means the world to me. Since I am not able to keep a steady job right now because I am so busy and tired, this scholarship will pay for two whole semesters for me to go to school full time.
MCA: Who has been your biggest inspiration in your decision to become a pediatric nurse?
OC: I don’t think that it is necessarily just one person who has inspired me, but all of the wonderful nurses and doctors who saved my life and made it bearable along the way. I feel that with my experience, I would have a lot to offer to others that are going through what I have gone through. I love kids and babies and always have, and I want to make them hopeful in a dark time.
MCA: How will your education help further achieving your dreams?
OC: I have a lot of school ahead of me to get my Bachelor's Degree in nursing to reach my goal of becoming a pediatric nurse.
MCA: What is one message you would give to other cancer survivors?
OC: A message that I would say to other cancer survivors is don’t let cancer or chronic illness define you. Surround yourself with positive people and keep a positive attitude and know that God has a plan for everyone. And know that your scars are just reminders of fighting the good fight. Be proud of them and be proud of yourself for everything you have gone through.
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship awards $4,000 to one student each semester whose life has been impacted by cancer. Scholarship applications for the Spring 2016 semester are being accepted now through December 31, 2015.
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship was created in honor of Heather Von St. James, a survivor of mesothelioma cancer, and her dedicated husband, Cameron, who enrolled in college after Heather was diagnosed. They know that, no matter the hardship, every little bit of help counts.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families
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- Locate the Nearest Comprehensive Cancer Center