I have recently graduated with a first class honours degree in Law at Leeds University. I have always had a keen interest in family law and was thus ecstatic to be offered a position as a paralegal at a firm with such a great reputation.
I am currently working at the Leeds office and love every second. I suppose that I am simply appreciative to have been given the opportunity to work at a firm that I have admired for so long.
My journey hasn’t been an easy one so far! I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma Tumour, rare form of cancer, in January 2011. I was in my third year of university and had not a care in the world (apart from seminar work and my dissertation of course!) when I started to suffer from persistent stomach aches. After numerous trips to the doctor’s office I was finally referred to a consultant who immediately sent me for an MRI scan. Within a week I was called back and given the diagnosis. As you can imagine, the words ‘I’m sorry, but its cancer’ are words that I was not prepared for and words that one prays that they will never hear. After a years’ worth of chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplants and radiotherapy for good measure, my treatment was complete and I officially went into remission in March 2012.
My treatment was carried out at the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at St James’ Hospital. I honestly believe that I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the trust. Having cancer made me a shadow of my former self, but the teenage cancer trust instilled in me a confidence that the cancer had stripped away. Being treated on the ward meant that I was not alone in my ordeal; Teenage Cancer Trust wards are designated for treatment of young people. It meant that I was able to make friends with people who understood what I was facing, which was so important. Having cancer can make your social life redundant – hospitals aren’t such fun places!
In March 2013 I was asked to be the face of the trust, they had read about me on my sister’s JustGiving page. She was running a marathon for Teenage Cancer Trust and I had written a small story about my journey. I jumped at the offer and I have not looked back since. As an ambassador for the trust I have spoken at some pretty amazing venues, the Royal Albert Hall being my absolute favourite… I suppose this was because I was gracing the stage with some legendary people! My role involves me travelling the country to spread awareness on teenage cancers, but also fundraise on behalf of the trust so that they are able to build Teenage Cancer Trust wards in every city. I am a strong believer that every young person with cancer should be afforded the same support that I was fortunate enough to receive, and it is my mission to continue fundraising until it is possible!
Anyway enough about cancer… I am here, I am well and I am eager to learn! I have done work experience within the family law sector for a long time, and spent my ‘well days’ during treatment at Grahame Stowe Bateson in Meanwood. I was often asked why on earth I did this and why I’d want a demanding career after going through cancer. It seems the general consensus is that I should be out there travelling the world. However, my response is simple, I have fought long and hard to simply have a future and having cancer has made me even more determined to have the future that I have always dreamed of. That future to me is one where I am a successful lawyer! Might be strange to some, but it’s my answer nonetheless.
I have been in the Leeds office for two weeks now and I am thoroughly enjoying my time here. I have been given lots of responsibility, today the tasks are already piling up on my desk as the day goes on. I welcome all of the tasks given! I am working on both matrimonial and children cases and I genuinely find it all very fascinating.
This really is the very beginning of my journey; my destination of a training contract is getting closer. I am ready to take on anything that comes my way and I look forward to sharing it all with you!