The 2020 Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship Application is now available!
Please visit https://runanthropic.org/scholarship/ to view and complete the online application form.
Help us keep giving out scholarships! To make a tax deductible donation, CLICK HERE!
We would like to congratulate our 2020 winner – Matthew Hildahl.
In Matthew’s own words:
It was May of 2016. I had a baseball practice that evening, and the coach had me at second base for a fielding drill. I snagged a line drive that stung as it entered my glove, but I shook it off and got ready for the next ball. It wasn’t until after practice that I took a closer look at my left hand and realized it was still quite swollen. From there it became a number of appointments with various specialists before I met my rheumatologist and was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. The diagnosis was a shock. My Dad had been diagnosed with severe psoriatic arthritis at 23, so I knew there was a risk, I just didn’t think it would be so early.
Growing up, I’ve watched his struggles with arthritis and I understand how life-altering and devastating the disease can be. Since his graduation from university in 1987, my Dad has only worked 10 of those 33 years as he’s had to go on disability leave multiple times, and has been on his current disability leave since 2003. Following my diagnosis, it became very clear to me that a labour-intensive job was no longer a possibility, my body just wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Everything I saw with my Dad’s arthritis and my own diagnosis led me to the conclusion that I need to put myself in the driver seat and be proactive about my education and my career. Majoring in accounting wasn’t a coin toss decision, it’s been the plan for a number of years. It’s a good career that I find interesting and one where I can limit the wear and tear on my joints.
Most of my grades are in the 90’s with the remaining being in the 80’s. My grades are a product of my discipline and my hard work, I invested a lot of time to earn those grades. Once again, that was planned because I knew I needed a high admission average to give me options for my career so I could pursue the course I wanted to take at my choice of university.
Arthritis means I have to be realistic, I have to know my limits, and I have to take proper care of myself. I still play baseball and I still love the sport, but my arthritis means I have to be proactive about my health so I can keep playing. After baseball or training for baseball (which involves weightlifting and cardio,) it means taking a hot shower to apply heat to my joints, it means icing my throwing arm down and applying anti-inflammatories to my arm. I have to stay on top of my medications and exercise discipline with taking care of my body so I can continue to play baseball. I want my life to be interesting and to participate in activities that I enjoy, but I need to be careful with my body and know my limits so I don’t cause serious damage.
I also think it’s important to give back to my community which I try to do by volunteering at the local library where I teach kids basic coding skills and volunteering with Challenger Baseball.
Click here to review the 2021 application requirements. Dr Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship 2019
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 Runanthropic.org 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.