John Foy & Associates is proud to award the 2019 Strong Arm Leukemia to Onyekaorise Chigbogwu of Independence, Mo. Chigbogwu, 18, recently started his freshman year at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where he intends to study communications and journalism.
His powerful essay describes his transformative battle with leukemia. On Oct. 23, 2012, at age 11, he was admitted into the intensive care unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, diagnosed with leukemia.
What followed was a four-year battle for his life. Like many families, his parents and siblings’ lives were irrevocably altered. His father, Godwin, had two jobs and quit one to be available for his son. Mother, Franka, quit her job. His brother and two sisters rallied to his side, and the family of six relied on one income.
Middle school, an arduous period at best, became more difficult as he was the only person in his class who had cancer. But as the years progressed, Chigbogwu became more and more aware that there were many facets and perspectives of the disease beyond being a patient. Many people beyond the patient are affected by cancer.
He became the chair of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Jackson County, Mo., and led large inspirational meetings for fund-raising and organizing events.
He wrote in his essay: “In large-scale meetings, I often take a poll: ‘Raise your hand if you or someone you know has been affected by cancer.’”
Inevitably, every hand went up.
“Every hand that goes up in those meetings is an individual and unique perspective,” he wrote.
For a while, Chigbogwu thought he would pursue medicine and fight cancer as a medical researcher or oncologist, but as he continued in school and began taking photographs and making videos for charity events, he realized that he could fight the disease another way.
“I want to study communications or journalism so I can, through writing and photography, educate others on the fight against cancer.”
At John Foy & Associates, one of Atlanta’s largest personal injury law firms, we recognize a fighter when we see one. Chigbogwu has transformed his medical battle into an inspirational career choice that can help others. He joins a growing list of Foy & Associates Strong Arm Leukemia Scholarship recipients.
Since 2015, the scholarship has awarded $1,000 to each recipient. High school seniors must be enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a college or university and have been affected by cancer in order to be eligible. The deadline is June 15, 2020, for the next scholarship application. More information on rules and regulations are on the scholarship page.
To read Chigbogwu’s essay and see his interview, check out this link.