Rockhampton’s Emily Daniels has been given a grant to study nursing. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
Rockhampton’s Emily Daniels has been given a grant to study nursing. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Sharyn O'Neill

Dark time leads to nursing career

EMILY Daniels knew she wanted to be a nurse when she saw her cancer-stricken mum battling the disease.

She was only 12 when her mother, Linda, began two years of excruciating treatment for bowel cancer.

Later this month Emily, now 17, will head to Brisbane's Queensland University of Technology to start a three-year nursing degree, aided by a Seize the Day study award from the Cancer Council Queensland in recognition of the way she was affected.

Her ambition, to one day work in cancer care or paediatrics, was framed during the dark days when it was unclear whether Linda would pull through.

"It was a long and gruelling process. Mum was in so much pain and it was an emotional rollercoaster for all of us for two years.

"It's something that I'll never forget. I was a wreck when she was in intensive care."

But although she was only in Grade 7, Emily decided then that she would like to devote her working life to alleviating pain and suffering.

"Mum's time in hospital inspired me to do something where I could provide care for others and help other families to be strong and overcome whatever health challenge may come their way.

"I saw first-hand the wonderful work that nurses do for patients and their families and I was so impressed with the level of care they provided, their compassion and the genuine love for the job.

"Their work with my family inspired me to choose nursing as my career and now that I have chosen my future, I feel a sense of relief and anticipation to get started."

Emily has won a $500 grant which will help her meet accommodation and text book costs in her first year.

She's one of 86 Queenslanders sharing $50,000 in study awards.

Cancer Council spokeswoman Amanda Gibson said Emily was a worthy recipient.

"Emily's courageous experience with cancer exemplifies the spirit and determination of so many thousands of Queenslanders affected by cancer each year."

Happily, Emily's mum is around to see her daughter fulfil her promise.

"Mum had her five-year check-up last year and she's good and cancer-free. It's an important milestone."



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