Kennedy McAlpin became interested in cancer after her great-grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. Since he worked in the naval shipyards during World War II, her family suspected it was mesothelioma caused by asbestos, although it was never specifically diagnosed.
McAlpin, a WKU junior from Somerset, now wants to help eradicate the disease through education, and is one of four finalists for a $2,500 scholarship from MesotheliomaHelp.org.
“The main purpose of the scholarship is to promote awareness by getting the word out,” McAlpin said. “The next phase of the competition is our ability to promote the essays in hopes of bringing awareness about the dangers of asbestos. People are able to go to https://www.mesotheliomahelp.org/scholarship-contest/finalists/ in order to vote for the different essays.”
The Communication Sciences and Disorders major said she learned about asbestos from her father, who showed her what it looked like and where it is found.
“However, it wasn’t until doing research for this scholarship essay that I realized asbestos is still being imported into our country by the tons every year,” McAlpin said. “The only way that we can eradicate mesothelioma from our country is to raise awareness of the horrible consequences of asbestos. That is what inspired me to raise my voice against the silent killer.”
Readers can vote for her essay, Miracle Material—Deadly Diagnosis, through Nov. 27.
Contact: Kennedy McAlpin, email@example.com