04/28/2011 02:41 pm ET Updated Jun 28, 2011

Young People Share Their Stories of Survival From Life-Threatening Illness

Young people who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness experience a journey that is both extraordinary and isolating.

In recognition of Andre Sobel's struggle with this challenge, and realizing that this is often a common story among others, the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation offers an annual Essay Award to young survivors of a catastrophic illness as a chance to express the reality of their experiences.

Emily Ransom, last year's First Prize award winner, introduces this year's contest and shares her 2010 Award winning poem:

The deadline for entries has been extended to May 6, 2011. The foundation hopes that young survivors can use this opportunity to find their voice and tell their own stories. More information about the essay contest can be obtained from

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