A Warwick student who carried the Olympic torch this summer has been chosen as a 'Woman of the Year' in a national event that celebrates achievement in all walks of life.
Third year psychology student Megan Blunt has been handpicked in recognition of her fundraising work for bone cancer charities. She will attend the Women of the Year lunch in London in October 2012.
Megan was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer aged 12 and has been committed ever since to raising awareness of childhood cancer and supporting charities searching for a cure. She was an inspiring role model and tireless fundraiser in the midst of her own treatment, and was even back fundraising for cancer charities straight after undergoing surgery.
Her experiences lead her to write a book in memory of her friend Nathaniel, who passed away in 2006. The book 'Chemotherapy, Cakes and Cancer' has since been translated into five languages and is now provided free of charge to children diagnosed with cancer in the UK.
Since 2008, Megan has been running a hospital food campaign, 'A Meal When You Want', or AMY, in memory of her friend Amy Wallace, to provide meals for young cancer patients at the University College Hospital London. She has convinced Tesco to provide microwavable meals to allow for a greater variety of food for younger patients and more flexible meal times.
Megan was awarded a Pride of Britain Award in 2007, and used this opportunity to convince Tesco to fund the second reprint of her book. In 2012 she was an Olympic Torchbearer, and as the only survivor from her cancer ward, Megan carried the torch on behalf of her friends who lost their lives to cancer.
Now aged 20 and in her third year at Warwick, Megan is a member of the Bone Cancer Research Trust. She has an advisory role editing information provided by the trust to make sure it is accessible to patients.
I was in a state of shock when I received my invitation. I’ve met so many inspiring people through my work and never thought of myself as one of them. I can’t believe I was thought of, let alone invited.”
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, President of the Women of the Year, said:
The remarkable thing about this lunch is that it’s not just about celebrity or success. It’s about seeing the exceptional in unusual places, recognizing women not only for their drive, ambition and tenacity, but for seeing a need and finding a way to make a difference. For taking the hard knocks, surviving them, and sticking at it.”
At the lunch, five special awards will be presented to exceptional women who have each proved an inspiration to others through their courage, selflessness and dedication.
The winners are selected by a judging panel made up of prominent female figures in media, business and the charity sector.