2013 Essay Contest Winners

THEME: "Provide an example of how you became an active participant in your care.”

1st Place
"The Desperate Truth Seeker"
By Risa Simon
Risa’s first place essay describes her journey from learning she has inherited the illness that claimed her father and grandmother’s lives, to the decision to learn as much as she could and not wait until she was “sick enough” for treatment. In the telling, she shares the routes she took to learn and share what she had learned and how this eventually led to finding her living kidney donor, Melissa. “I love how RSN’s essay contest stretches our minds and spirits in a special way to tell our story. I have participated previously and am thrilled to have won first place this year,” says Risa.

2nd Place
"The Black Binder"
By Mary Wu
The transition from child-patient to becoming an adult, fully responsible for her own care is the subject of Mary Wu’s, second place winning essay. Her tool to get and stay organized and show the medical professionals, who were used to talking through all of her healthcare experiences with her father, was her black binder, complete with tabs and dividers. When asked about the contest, Mary said “I enjoyed sharing my story of why it is important to be a proactive patient to help encourage others to the same.”

3rd Place (Tie)
"Old-Fashioned Self-Discipline"
By Susan Decuir
Finding herself with new diet restrictions due to the loss in kidney function, this strong willed Grandmother stayed strong. She won the third place tie with the essay describing how she talked herself into sticking with the excising and diet her doctor recommended, so that she could be ready for the kidney transplant that was in her future and the grandchildren she was determined to enjoy.

3rd Place (Tie)
"A Trip to the Castle"
By Elizabeth Usher
Elizabeth’s fairy tale essay tells the story of a maiden who learns that she must be the heroine of her own story by taking charge and making the right decisions to stay as healthy as possible.