The 2023 Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship Application is now closed!
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 The Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship – 2023.

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We would like to congratulate our 2023 winner – Jean O’Hanley

In Jean’s own words:

Living A Full Life With Inflammatory Arthritis

I don’t remember the day that I was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, because I was
only four years old. However, I do recall how my life changed in many ways from that time forward. For the next ten years I didn’t attend school on any Wednesdays, due to fatigue, soreness, and frequent illness. I underwent a number of surgical procedures to alleviate stiffness and swelling in my affected joints. The disease spread to my eyes, and I was rushed to Sick Kids Hospital when I was six years old for emergency surgery to save the right one, due to sky-high and uncontrollable intraocular pressure. As a result, I have been receiving the maximum permitted doses of both Methotrexate and Humira for most of the last ten years. This severely compromises my immune system, and it takes weeks for me recover from the common cold. Now, for the great news: I know I am blessed, and have never, ever, felt self-pity.

My early life dealt me some lemons, but I used them to make lots of lemonade. Those
Wednesdays off from school for ten years? They were spent at the piano, and singing, and voraciously reading books that interested me. Over the last twelve years, my parents and I have made the sixteen hour round-trip from Timmins to Sick Kids more than fifty times. Far from dreading the road, I still can’t wait to discover more of what Toronto has to offer. You name it, and we’ve probably done it: Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, a tour of the legislature at Queen’s Park, Toronto Islands, indoor skydiving, Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto Zoo, top of the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Allen Gardens…..and don’t let me start talking about the restaurants! I had to keep my body strong from a very young age, and did so through enjoyable activities which included gymnastics classes, snowshoeing, biking, skating, and organized soccer. This necessity started me on what I’m convinced will be a lifelong quest for fitness, and I now do aerobic exercise and weight-training on alternate days.

All those visits to Sick Kids made me realize three critical things. Firstly, there are a lot of young
people worse off than me. Secondly, I am enormously fortunate to be living in both a time and a country in which JIA patients get the very best of medical care. Thirdly, and certainly most importantly, they made me see that my destiny is to become a doctor. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and admiration for the compassionate and talented physicians who have taken such good care of me all these years. I literally can’t wait to apply to medical school, because I have purposed to graduate from high school next month after only three years, instead of the usual four.

My guidance counselor recently advised me that I will be given my high school’s National Book Award next month at our graduation ceremony, which recognizes the outstanding member of the student body. Having completed ten years of French immersion, I volunteer on a weekly basis to read in that language to struggling students at my elementary alma mater. In January of this year, I completed the Dog Therapy training program offered by our local chapter of St. John Ambulance, and every weekend bring my pet to places like old age homes to boost spirits. I am a member of my high school’s Historical Society, serving as its secretary last year, and as vice-president this year. I tutor several grade eleven and twelve students in math and physics, for which I am paid by our school board. I still make time, and believe that I always will, for my creative passions of singing and piano playing. All of which is to say: JIA may have won a few early battles, but I’m winning the war!

Jean O’ Hanley

Click here to review the 2023 application requirements. The Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship – 2023

Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship – 2023

Purpose and Award

The Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship program has been assisting students living with arthritis in achieving their educational goals since 2013. It is presented by in honour of the inspiring work and dedication of Dr. Cameron and the entire Rheumatology staff at SickKids Hospital. The scholarship award is $2,500.

View and complete the online application here: