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Child cancer survivor becomes doctor

Words by Smiley Team

A child cancer survivor has achieved their dream of becoming a doctor.

Oscar Oglina was four years old when he discovered a hard lump on his abdomen, and received the heartbreaking diagnosis of Stage 3 liver cancer. Over the course of a year, Oscar underwent surgery and chemotherapy which would save his life, thanks to the work of NHS staff.

Some of Oscar’s earliest memories are of the time he spent in Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), which became his second home during the time he spent there. 

“I want to pay tribute to my parents,” he said. “It’s tough as a family to be told that your child has a serious illness. Cancer doesn’t affect the patient, it affects the whole family.”

Oscar remained in follow-up care, after being removed from primary school to focus on his treatments. Eventually, though, he was able to go back to school - just in time to have a normal secondary school experience - as his regular checkups were spread out to once a year.

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While many might decide they’d had enough of hospitals for a lifetime, and be completely justified in doing it, Oscar took rather a different view of his childhood.

“As I grew up and came to terms with what happened, I had a real drive to get a place at medical school, so I could go back and help other sick children,” said Oscar, of his career choice. “I really respected the doctors and nurses, they were brilliant.”

Oscar went on to study medicine at Bristol Medical School, part of the University of Bristol, to launch his career.

As well as training to be a doctor himself, he has also got heavily involved in charity work, and recently helped run a medical student charity production which raised £60,000 for Young Lives vs Cancer.

“Oscar’s journey has been more difficult than most,” said Ashley Blom, Head of Bristol Medical School. “His resilience, tenacity and steadfast resolve to help others are all traits that will make him a brilliant doctor. We wish him the very best in his next steps.”

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Give to the Teenage Cancer Trust to help them provide much needed support to young people and their families.

VOLUNTEER: Help Cancer Research UK by volunteering in their shops, at fundraising events and more.

SUPPORT: Fundraise for Children with Cancer UK to help support life saving research into childhood cancers.

GET INVOLVED: Support charities such as Young Lives vs Cancer by donating, volunteering or getting stuck in with one of their fundraising events. 

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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