Life is full of Miracles as long as you Never give up! by Maria Fotiadou
I was designing a PhD in my mind long before I was offered to do one. So, my boss Julie did ask me to do one. I was more than excited! She would cover the fees of the first two years. And a long journey began..
I wanted to work with families of children with cancer so I was working a year or so as a part-time student, while working as a researcher at the University, on collaborations, designing the PhD, submitting proposals, reading and writing constantly. But, during the last meeting with the Hospital committee I got rejected. When I got the letter with the decision I felt gutted. All the enthusiasm I had, left me in an instant. They told me I could re-submit but that meant I had to go more than a year back to where I started almost. I got myself together and I said that I would do this PhD no matter what. I felt determined. I wanted to reach my goal and do research to help families and children with cancer. It was a promise to myself.
The money was running out with all the delays and so I started looking on the internet for potential funders. I went through tons of websites. But one grabbed my attention as it had a picture of a beautiful little girl, looking like an angel. Her parents built and dedicated the Trust to their daughter that died from Leukaemia. I remember I spent quite sometime on this particular website reading about this little girl. After a while I continued with the rest of the work and I forgot about it.
After a long time of work, my PhD got finally accepted by the University and the Hospital committee, I was happy but I had no idea how I would cover the fees for the rest of the years to finish it. My salary could only cover my basic needs at that time.
I had to go to a 3-day conference on cancer in Nottingham to talk about my PhD. It was a nursing conference and I knew no one in the field, but I thought to give it a go.
I arrived at Nottingham train station. I showed the printed map to the taxi driver and he confirmed he knew the exact building of the campus. Unfortunately though, the taxi driver took me to the wrong place. I spoke to the reception that I had to be really quick as the first talk was about to start. I started panicking as the campus was huge. A man walked fast to the reception desk saying that he had also mistaken the building and he needed directions as he was the keynote speaker and his talk was in 10 mins. He asked me if I wanted a lift and he passed me his card to show me he was actually the first speaker.
When I read the card I was left speechless. The little girl of the website I saw a year or longer ago came straight to my mind. I stayed still in the middle of the room. This man was her dad!
I heard him telling me to walk faster as he had to give his talk. It was about 4-5 mins driving to the other building. He asked me what I was doing and I told him about my research and my dedication to offer more to the field of cancer, families and their quality of life. He said that my research sounded interesting and I could submit a funding application to the Trust he built dedicated to his daughter that died from Leukaemia. He couldn’t guarantee though if the committee would accept it. Well, I could only try.
After a few months, the committee of the Trust accepted my application. They would fund the rest of my PhD. it was one of the best gifts I have ever received in my life! I was feeling ecstatic!
I graduated with a PhD July 2008. I dedicated my research to the Lisa Thaxter Trust and all the families that care for a child with cancer.
I will never be able to fully explain how this happened. But every time I think of this story, I feel overwhelmed about life and I know that miracles happen, things change, life is generous as long as you never give up.
My lifelong dream is to continue helping others pursue their dreams and live a happier and loving life.