Child cancer survivor achieves life-long dream of becoming doctor

Student that beat aggressive stage-3 cancer as a child, achieves his life-long dream of becoming a doctor

A student who beat aggressive cancer as a child, has achieved his life-long dream of becoming a doctor.

Oscar Oglina became inspired by those doctors and nurses who treated him, during his time suffering with, stage 3 liver cancer.

After completing his studies, he attended the University of Bristol’s promise ceremony, which marked the end of his time as a medical student, and the start of his journey in becoming a paediatrician, to help poorly children, like he once was.

Oscar’s diagnosis and treatment

Sadly, all of Oscar’s earliest memories are from Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London. where he was being treated - it ultimately became his second home.

It was 2001, when a four year-old Oscar, woke up to find a hard lump on his abdomen, so he went to get it checked by a doctor to find out what it could be.

Within 24 hours, test results showed that the abnormal lump was in fact, stage 3 liver cancer. After the diagnosis, for more than a year, Oscar endured chemotherapy and underwent surgery.

Oscar, aged 5, with brother Hugo on a Make-A-Wish Foundation trip to Disneyland

At this point, he was removed from primary school in order to focus on his treatment, as he also required consistent follow up care, for quite some time.

Oscar was too young to understand what was going on, although he knew his life was very different from others, his age.

As Oscar’s treatment continued, his appointments started to become weekly, then monthly and then eventually, yearly. This meant that he was now at the point where he could resume his secondary school education, as normal.

Oscar’s goals and dream

Now that he felt free to apply himself, Oscar dedicated his schooling, towards his one aim of becoming a doctor, to help people like him, as well as give back to the NHS that saved his life.

Oscar worked hard to gain a place at a medical school, through becoming an A* student, winning multiple awards, and even finding time to volunteer, and raise money for charity.

He said: “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.

“I really respected the doctors and nurses, they were brilliant.”

All of Oscar’s hard work paid off in 2016, when he earned himself a place at Bristol Medical School.

Oscar in scrubs on a placement during his time at the University of Bristol

Whilst at medical school, Oscar continued his academic work alongside other achievements, this included launching an award-winning international teaching series, and founding a national network of student-run medical societies.

He didn’t waver at all, in his focus and determination, as he also remained heavily invested in his charity work.

Most notably, he recently helped to run a medicine student charity production, which raised over £60,000 for Young Lives vs Cancer.

Oscar also remained heavily invested in his charity work. Most notably, he recently helped run a medicine student charity production which raised over £60,000 for Young Lives vs Cancer.

In his University of Bristol promise ceremony, he vowed to practise his profession to the best of his abilities; maintain the utmost respect for human life, and work for the good of all.

Ashley Blom, Head of Bristol Medical School, said: “Oscar’s journey has been more difficult than most. 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.”

Oscar the Paediatrician

Oscar’s dream has now really become reality as his first job will involve working in paediatrics.

He wants to reassure sick children that you can lead a fulfilling life, beyond a cancer diagnosis, as he’s living proof that it’s possible.

Oscar at the University of Bristol after his promise ceremony

Oscar said: “Once you’ve faced a serious illness like cancer - you possess a level of true empathy. You better understand what your patients are going through.

“I hope it will aid my work with patients. It’s one thing as a clinician to gauge what your patient is going through, it’s another to have gone through it yourself.”