Baron & Budd Announces Spring 2022 Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship Winners

Published : Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 12:08 pm
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Scholarship winners Alanna Thornton and Carolyn Simbirdi describe the impacts cancer has had on their lives

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the national law firm of Baron & Budd announced that it has selected Alanna Thornton and Carolyn Simbirdi as the winners of the Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship. Each winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship paid directly to the financial aid accounts at their universities.

Applicants were asked to submit a written or video essay about how cancer has impacted their lives. Alanna Thornton’s winning written essay was selected after a competitive review by the Baron & Budd Scholarship committee. Her remarkably creative essay ties pivotal moments in her life to experiences with food including how a Make-A-Wish food tour of Los Angeles helped relieve anxiety and bring some normalcy to her family as they struggled with her little brother’s diagnosis of Leukemia. Thornton explained how her brother’s cancer treatments helped her discover her own identity and the impact she wants to have on the world.

In her essay Thornton stated, “I want to join the group of brilliant minds around the world who study mental health disorders and work to find solutions that help women of color manage their mental health and improve the quality of their lives. Processing and healing from traumas are the only way to truly have a great quality of life. I want to help lead others to this same realization.” Thornton is attending the University of North Carolina Asheville.

Additionally, Carolyn Simbirdi was selected as the video essay winner. Her video focused on her own struggles with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and how it has affected her and her family. Simbirdi described the emotional and mental challenges she faced during her journey with cancer and explains how she learned to be grateful for the experience and the lessons it taught her.

Friends describe Simbirdi as, “…an outstanding young woman with exceptional leadership skills, particularly good interpersonal skills, and a driven work ethic. She also has an incredible sense of empathy and is always trying to identify with and understand others’ experiences and emotions; a great trait to have.” Simbirdi is attending California State University, Chico where she is pursuing a degree in communications.

“Both Alanna and Carolyn exhibited incredible strength throughout their experiences with cancer. Being faced with so many challenges and hardships at such a young age could have left them feeling broken and defeated. They chose instead to find positives despite the adversities and came through stronger because of the challenges they faced. We wish them the very best and are proud to help support their education,” said President and Managing Shareholder Russell Budd.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the legacy of the thousands of Americans who are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer every year. For more information about the Baron & Budd Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship, please visit


Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 45 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases. Baron & Budd and its legal experts across the country pursue litigation to protect people and their communities from the effects of dangerous and diverse issues including: harmful pharmaceuticals as well as highly addictive opioids, defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, environmental contamination including delivering ground-breaking settlements for the California wildfire victims, e-cigarette manufacturers, fraudulent and illegal banking practices, motor vehicle manufacturing and accidents, False Claims Act cases, and other consumer fraud issues.


Debra Webb
Baron & Budd, P.C.

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