Cancer Essay Contest

Posted 3/06/23 (Mon)

Local Student Wins MRH Cancer Essay Contest

March 6, 2023 – Mobridge Regional Hospital in Mobridge, South Dakota announced the winner of its recent Cancer Essay Contest today. Mobridge-Pollock High School freshman Ellie Jahraus wrote the winning essay, Joy in the Journey, about experiencing her mother’s thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment. “Seeing my mom go through everything influenced me to be brave, strong, independent, and put my trust in God,” wrote Ms. Jahraus. Ms. Jahraus will receive a $250 gift basket and a chance to win Cancer Pathways “Cancer Unwrapped” Teen Writing Contest.

The hospital staff were excited to see so many quality essays were submitted for consideration and moved by the stories—some triumphant and others tragic—that students shared. Many contestants wrote about how difficult the treatment process is for patients and their families, in part due to the distance patients currently must travel for chemotherapy. “Fighting cancer is one of the toughest battles a person may ever have.” Said Lee Cordell, RPh, pharmacy director at MRH&C, “Giving patients the option of having chemotherapy done locally is just one more step we are taking to help lessen the burden on these patients and offer more services close to home so they can focus on healing, instead of the logistics.” It’s a struggle that Mobridge Regional Hospital has known about for years and identified further by patients and community members through their Community Health Needs Assessment survey results. This is one of the challenges the hospital hopes to address with their current expansion and renovation project. “While unfortunate that so many people need to seek services for cancer care, we know we can do a lot of good for our patients and community we serve by offering chemotherapy in our new facility.” said John J. Ayoub, CEO of MRH&C.

The hospital hopes the student essays serve as a conversation starter for families and an additional way to honor loved ones that have battled, or are currently battling, cancer. “Boy, was it a hard read for me,” said Ellie’s mother, Jessica Jahraus, of her daughter’s essay, “to hear the words she wrote about her thoughts on me.” Mrs. Jahraus has been cancer-free for three years and was blessed with a healthy baby sister for Ellie and her siblings sixteen months after completing her treatment. The full version of Ms. Jahraus’s essay can be read online HERE.

Mobridge Regional Hospital and Clinics (MRH&C) is an award-winning rural health organization headquartered in Mobridge, South Dakota.  Comprised of a 25-bed critical access hospital, four federally certified rural health clinics, a 24-bed assisted living and senior housing center, and a rural ambulance service, MRH&C serves a five-county area with a population of over 20,000.  MRH&C employs over 215 dedicated professionals and has trauma designations in both North and South Dakota.

Mobridge Regional Hospital was established in 1959 by community leaders dedicated to providing the finest possible care to Walworth County and the surrounding region. Today, Mobridge Regional Hospital offers medical, surgical, obstetrical, intensive care/coronary care, emergency room, and swing bed services.  They also offer a full CLIA certified laboratory and state of the art radiology department with services ranging from 3D mammography, 40 slice CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and full body bone density testing. Mobridge Regional Hospital has a fully equipped cardiac & pulmonary rehabilitation center and a broad range of inpatient, outpatient and surgical services. Some of these services include sleep studies, home health services, same day surgery, community health services, telemedicine with various community education programs and visiting specialists.