MDG Announces the Winner of the 4th Annual ‘Looking Beyond College’ Essay Contest

At a time when so much attention is focused on technology and science, it’s easy for students to lose sight of the importance of effective communication. Nonetheless, there’s never been a greater need for creativity and expression in the workplace.

To encourage students to pursue these skills, MDG recently held its Fourth Annual ‘Looking Beyond College’ Scholarship Essay Contest. The contest asked high school and currently enrolled college students to submit a creative essay on the topic of their dream job. Their incentive? A $1,000 college scholarship awarded for the best entry in any field of study.

Out of 57 promising submissions, one essay in particular stood out. Gabrianne Ivey, a college junior at Appalachian State University, captured both our attention and our hearts. Her emotional story demonstrated how her future immunotherapy career might someday benefit a child with leukemia.

We wish to thank all the talented students who submitted their essays for consideration. Please join us in congratulating Gabrianne on her winning entry, “The Eternity.” Here is an excerpt from her essay:MDG Announces the Winner of the 4th Annual ' Looking Beyond College" Essay Contest

With my papers in hand and a smile on my face, I proceed to my clinical rounds. Cheerfully, I open the heavy wooden door, and meet my patient. I see a small hand clasped in a father’s. The small child willfully smiled at me. She looked pale, but it was barely noticeable behind the happy, carefree face and gentle curls that lined the head. A small tear dripped from the father’s eyes and landed softly on the child’s heart. “She has some form of Leukemia,” says the father in a shaky voice, “and chemotherapy doesn’t seem to be working.” He attempts to hold back his quavering voice, as the daughter affectionately leans her small frame on the father’s shoulder. She has no concept of the time she has left. I turn to the girl and gently ask, “Do you know what cancer is?” She responds in a solemn voice, “Daddy says it’s where people get sick, and sometimes don’t live.” I look sorrowfully at the poor girl, wishing to give her a fun experience of her dreams and so I inquire, “If you could do anything right now, what would you do?” The girl looks at the watery, red eyes of her father, turns to me, and promptly responds, “I would make daddy happy.”

In that moment, my perception of time slowed. Here was a girl, whose time on earth seemed so condensed. Yet, all she wanted was to please her father. There was my time, elongated relative to hers, yet all I could think about that day was how I was behind in my career and life due to participating in an MD/PhD program. I forgot that simple motive that brought me here: to please my Father in heaven by showing love to others through serving them.

I turn back to the girl, “I might have a way to help you do that,” I say to her slowly. The bright smile returned on the little girl’s face, “how?” she asked in her most child-like way. “Well,” I begin, “I have been working on this cancer cure call immunotherapy.”

Gabrianne is excited for what the future holds and plans to use the scholarship in her efforts to enroll in MD/PhD programs, allowing her to fulfill her goal of using medicine to help others globally in under-served areas.  Congratulations Gabrianne, we’re excited to see you make your impact on the medical field!

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