I met two especially inspiring people the other week.
The first was Miss Jyoti Shah, a Consultant Urological Surgeon based at Burton Hospitals. In truth, it was my third meeting with her and I will explain why. But first, what does Jyoti do that is so inspiring?
Together with Sarah Mills, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Jyoti runs free one-stop Prostate Cancer screenings in her community. Results are communicated within 24-hours and referrals to a clinic are immediate. Indeed, a friend of mine was seen at Jyoti’s clinic three days after he had the screening tests. Compare this with the usual NHS process of GP appointment, then another for a blood test, wait for results, referral, wait for appointment, etc. If my friend had had to wait that long he would not yet have started the chemotherapy that is currently fighting his aggressive form of prostate cancer, of which he experienced no symptoms.
The issue is that 1 in 8 men are diagnosed with the disease and it is now the third most deadly form of cancer with 11,819 men dying of it in 2015. Men over 50 are particularly at risk but many won’t go to their GP to be tested. This is where Jyoti’s approach is ground breaking. She offers men a test in familiar and comfortable surroundings. So far she has tested over 800 men and detected over 40 cases of prostate cancer.
Each test is free because Jyoti and Sarah give their time without a fee and all costs are covered by donations and fundraising through their “Inspire Health: Fighting Prostate Cancer” campaign.
How did I meet Jyoti the first time? A few months ago I attended one of her one-stop screening sessions, organised and funded by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Derbyshire Freemasons. The second time I met her was when I volunteered to be the meet and greet at a further such session. Then the other week she delivered a talk to a Masonic audience of over 200, at which she was presented with two donations totalling £4,000 for her charity fund.
Thank you Jyoti. I now know my PSA and that I do not currently have prostate cancer. I also know that friends who do have this awful disease are in good hands.
The second inspire was paralympian and inspirational speaker, Steve Judge. Some years ago Steve was in a car accident in which both his legs were crushed. He was told he may never walk again.
Spurred on by his experiences in Scouting, where he learned of the value of incremental goals, Steve worked hard for two years to heal his legs and to learn to walk again. That was not enough. He wanted to go further and took up triathlons – swimming, cycling and running competitively. He represented Great Britain, won two gold medals and became World Champion in the Paratriathlon.
Steve is now a coach and speaker. He uses his own story and the learning he has gained to inspire others to achieve their own “personal gold”. We spent a morning together last week, sharing ideas and experiences.
Two inspirational people in one week. Both would claim they are just ordinary people whose experiences have taught them lessons that they are now acting upon. It is what they are doing having learned those lessons that is making such a difference to the lives of other people.
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