12 May 2023

My Life Now - meet Cancer Patient Coordinator Ewan

It’s been 20 years since the Trust first set sail – what are the young people who have been on trips up to now? Our 'My Life Now' series shows a positive future after cancer is a reality. Ewan's outlook on life greatly improved in only a few days after being with the Trust.

Profile picture of Ewan wearing a Trust cap and Msuto tee on his tripName: Ewan Brown

Age: 29

Diagnosis/year: Metastatic Melanoma 2015

When did you first sail with the Trust? 2017

What do you do now? Cancer MDT Coordinator and Patient Pathway Coordinator in the NHS

Explain what that means? The role is to identify areas that can improve the experience and outcome of care for cancer patients. I prepare and run multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss bladder cancer patients, note the outcomes and ensure they are followed up after. On the pathway coordinator side of the job, I track patients with new cancer referrals through to their first treatment, ensuring they get through their pathway and are treated within government set target times.

Why did you want to do this?
I had decided I wanted to be involved in cancer care in some way after my diagnosis, and having worked admin jobs in the NHS for a while it seemed the best fit. Being able to prevent patients from falling through the net and ensure they get the care they need brings a lot of job satisfaction, knowing you are making a real difference each day.

Ewan at the helm with the stunning scottish hills behind him What's the coolest thing you've done lately? Adopted a very vocal cat. She loves to wake me up at 5am most days to give her attention, but she is very cute, so I can't get mad at her.

Why did you need the Trust's support in recovery?

I had pretty poor mental health prior to my cancer diagnosis, which obviously didn't much improve as my cancer was progressing. The Trust was recommended to me by my Clinical Nurse Specialist and Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator, and it genuinely turned my life around in only a few days.

It helped me regain my confidence and realise a lot of what was holding me back in life was all in my head. It was also the first-time meeting others around my age with a diagnosis, and was the first time I really talked about it with others.

What part has the Trust played in you doing what you are doing now?

The Trust has changed pretty much every aspect of my life for the better. The confidence I gained has allowed me to pursue a career I would never have thought about before - too much social interaction! I also have gained lifelong friends through the Trust and now have a far more positive outlook on life.

What's your top tip for a young person interested in working in your industry? Don't be afraid of rejection and apply for the roles you are interested in even if you don't meet the criteria perfectly - I thought I had no chance of getting my job, but here I am.