Sophie Lee Taylor, MSc Public Health by Distance Learning graduate, has undertaken the project of a lifetime in support of Cancer Research…
“In 2008, life was very different – I was working as a foreign correspondent in China, and fully absorbed in a busy career which was rewarding and challenging in equal measures. My parents lived in the UK, I visited them every few months, and had absolutely no idea how much I was taking for granted.
After a few months of feeling vaguely unwell, my father was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. Only two weeks after his diagnosis, he passed away. I was back in Shanghai at the time packing in my job, and was not able to be there when he died. It was the most gut-wrenching, agonising experience.
Shortly after my father’s passing I moved back to the UK, and since then I have climbed a mountain a year in his memory to raise funds for cancer research. I had never climbed one before, but wanted to focus my energies on something proactive and positive.
This year, I decided to make an all-out effort and climb the highest volcano on every continent to fund a clinical trial for a cure for oesophageal cancer run by Cancer Research UK (www.sevenvolcanoes.com). Every donation means a great deal to me and it would be absolutely wonderful to reach the £7,000 target.
During this time I also resolved to change careers. I started studying for a PGDip in health sciences at the Open University, as well as a Masters in Public Health by distance learning at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. It has been the most rewarding experience.
I miss my father each and every day, but I hope to keep his memory alive through fundraising and climbing mountains.”