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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 13, 1976)
Wednesday, October 13, 1970
By Mary Jo Howe . burg, a 1975 Rhodes Scholarship winner
Dxford has been a venerable institu- was told by the Rhodes Scholarship Com-
tion for over 700 years, so it an wait a mittee.
little longer for one student," Jim Steckel- Last May, Steckelburg was on his way
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Daily Nebradcan photo
Jim Steckdbcrg's trip to Oxford University, courtesy of a Rhodes Scholarship, was
sidetracked by a rare disease.
to attend Oxford University in , Britain
after maintaining a 4X) undergraduate
grade point average, completing one
semester of graduate work, and receiving
three of the most prestigious scholarships,
the Rhodes, Marshall and Danforth.
However,. this summer Steckelburg said
he had a "slight setback in his educa
After a tennis game one Sunday last
May, Steckelburg felt a tingling in his
feet. The sensation spread, and five days
later he was paralyzed from the neck
down in Bryan Memorial Hospital in
Steckelburg was the victim of a rare
disease called the Guillain-Barre Syndrome,
a disorder of the nervous system.
The disease begins with a weakness in
the limbs, which spreads to the trunk.
In severe cases, the. disease causes total
paralysis and may last from two weeks to
"Very little is known about the syn
drome except that it is seldom fatal or
permanent," said Steckelburg.
During his illness, Steckelburg said he
read several papers on the disease and
found that current . treatments haven't
changed much since a scientist from the
18th century first described them. Some
persons have chimed solutions to the
disease, but all you can do is let it run
its course, he aid.
"About the first of June, the doctors
told me how serious my condition was, and
my brother wrote to the Rhodes commit
tee," said Steckelburg.
"They were really terrific and agreed to
delay everything until I was able to contin
ue my education," he added.
Steckelburg was released after nine
weeks in the hospital. He is tentatively
planning to enter Oxford this January,
In the meantime, he is tutoring part-time
in the UNL Math Dept.
" Steckelburg, who was graduated in Dec
ember 1975 with majors in math and com
puter science, was one of 32 VS. students
selected to receive the Rhodes Scholar
ship, which is worth $17,000 a year.
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