Sunday, 9 October 2011

 When I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer on 18th June 2010, I found out on the same day that I had been accepted onto a 3 year BA Hons degree at the University of Cumbria. I had to ask myself then, should I start this degree in September not knowing what lay ahead or even if I would die before I graduated. I decided to go ahead because I wanted to live so much. I thought, maybe my body would give up if I stood still, but if I steamed ahead that it might take the hint and decide to give me another 40 years!

As it turned out, I had surgery that November to remove the cancer, just 2 months after I had enrolled. Even though I had to have 8 weeks away from my studies, I still finished 1st year only 2% under a 1st.

I want to inspire others to take this path because I am convinced that it is our own mental attitude after diagnosis that can be a critical factor in helping us through the darker days of our journey.

In May 2012, along with 4 other (very much younger!) students from my Wildlife and Media course, I plan to travel to Romania. We would like to make a documentary wildlife film, which will not only be about Romanian Wildlife in some of the oldest forests in Europe, but also about the beauty in nature which drove me on in my fight to beat Prostate Cancer.

My hope is that we can get the Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK to link with the same charity in Romania, a country where 95% of men are at an ‘advanced’ stage when diagnosed. It is vital that we raise awareness in both our countries of this terrible disease, which is so curable if detected in its early stages. 12,000 men die of Prostate Cancer in the United Kingdom every year and the number in Romania is far higher. Any money that we make from this venture will go to Prostate Cancer charities in both countries, but we will need help and sponsorship in order to succeed.
We will gladly give our time and professional skills, along with a total commitment to succeed. We will also be funding ourselves heavily from our student loans.

To date I have written to the following people and organisations and will continue to write to more in the coming weeks.

  • Owen Sharp, CEO of the Prostate Cancer Charity
  • Sir John Rose, CEO Rothchilds Group
  • Andrew Jackson, Head of Wildlife BBC Bristol
  • Liz Homewood, Producer of 'The One Show'
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber, Prostate Cancer Victim
  • Rowen Bainbridge, CEO Romanian Oil 'Aurelia'
  • Professor Peter Strike, Vice Chancellor University of Cumbria
  • UK/Romania Charity

Do you know anyone local to you who might be able to loan us a  suitable vehicle?

How can others help?

  • ·      We will need a vehicle, possibly 4x4 suitable for this kind of expedition; maybe a people carrier or similar, capable of carrying 5 people with supplies. Of course we will be totally responsible for this generous loan.

  • ·      We will also need fuel as we plan to drive from Cumbria in the UK to Romania and back, nearly 4,000 miles.

  • ·      Do you have any contacts in Romania that might be able to help us?

  • ·      Can you help us in any other way? Donations, kit, accommodation or even ideas are all welcome.

In Europe this year, nearly 250,000 men will die of Prostate Cancer. Most of those deaths could be prevented by early detection.

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