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Young doctor, 25, reveals how getting into medical school saved his life

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ghada Ali youssef, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Ghada Ali youssef

    Ghada Ali youssef Golden Member

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    John Maunder, 25, beat cancer while studying a medical degree in Queensland
    He was diagnosed with blood cancer after standard pre-degree medical tests
    His weekly treatments were timed to interfere minimally with his study

    'I was never really excited about engineering, or my classes and wanted to do something to help people,' he said.

    'I decided to take the entry test for medicine four days before applications closed and thought if my marks were good enough it would be a sign to go ahead with it.'

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    'It was really tough, I distinctly remember sitting in a lecture two-weeks into my first semester just writhing in pain,' Mr Maunder said

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    Mr Maunder said the gruelling chemotherapy regime left him nauseous, exhausted and in excruciating pain

    He got in and started to apply for universities. Once he was accepted all that stood in his way was a standardised medical check-up.

    'They have to make sure you don't have any infectious diseases,' he said. 'When I was in with the doctor having the tests done I remembered I had a lump in my groin and pointed it out.

    'He did a scan and it was inconclusive, then we did a biopsy and that was inconclusive as well but my surgeon decided to take the lump out because it wasn't supposed to be there.'

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    'In my first year I organised to do the World's Greatest Shave – I lost my hair before the day came around but 20 of my mates took up the challenge and we raised $100,000' Mr Maunder said

    'It was really heart-warming to see them all shave off their head on stage in support of me.' Mr Maunder said

    On December 14 – the day of his graduation ceremony for his first degree he was having a celebratory lunch with his family when his phone rang.

    'I excused myself from the table and it was my surgeon telling me I had cancer,' he said.

    'I got back to the table and told my family – and there was just silence for a while.

    'Then I started to cry and my dad just put his arm around me.'

    Mr Maunder then had to 'smile through' his engineering graduation.

    Mr Maunder (centre) graduated from the prestigious University of Queensland in December

    'I didn't want to tell my friends and ruin their day, I just didn't want to be that guy who stole the attention.'

    He started treatment on December 31, after a series of tests to make sure his body could handle the heavy dose of cancer killing drugs.

    'I explained to my doctor that I had just enrolled in university and he told me to try to do both – after explaining the treatment plan.'

    The young man was pumped full of life-saving drugs every Friday for six months then more drugs every second week for two years.

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    'It's been four years to the day since I wore this silly hat,' Mr Maunder wrote when he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in December

    'After each treatment you can be sick for four days, so we made my treatment day Friday so I could make it to uni on Monday.'

    Despite his already hectic schedule the young doctor wanted to make sure he didn't neglect his social life throughout his treatment.

    'I learnt very quickly how far I could push myself – if I was with a friend for a bit too long it would take me days to recover.

    'In my first year I organised to do the World's Greatest Shave – I lost my hair before the day came around but 20 of my mates took up the challenge and we raised $100,000.

    'It was really heart-warming to see them all shave off their head on stage in support of me.' He says his family were also a huge help – despite him living more than five hours from home.

    'My mum, dad and three brothers would always drop anything to help me out,' he said.

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    Despite his already hectic schedule the young doctor wanted to make sure he didn't neglect his social life throughout his treatment

    Mr Maunder is now in remission but his oncologist says the cancer, known as nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma, will be back.

    'It might be in one year it might be in 50 years they just don't know.' Every six months Mr Maunder has scans to make sure he is still in good health.

    He will intern with the Sunshine Coast Health Service and hopes to pursue a future as a surgeon.

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