Norwich doctor's challenge of a lifetime

Dan GrimmerA junior doctor battling cancer is about to embark on a challenge of a lifetime when she sails around Britain to raise funds for the disease.Dan Grimmer

A junior doctor battling cancer is about to embark on a challenge of a lifetime when she sails around Britain to raise funds for the disease.

Josie Phillips, 27, is a doctor at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and she has had three operations to remove a brain tumour after suffering a seizure while on holiday in Spain six years ago.

After being initially told she had two to three years to live she has gone onto make a remarkable recovery with the tumour now not being detected on scans, even though it is malignant.

Mrs Phillips who lives in Newmarket Street with her husband Roger, also 27, is now determined to do all she can to raise awareness of this little known disease and will raise funds for Brain Tumour Research and the Big C Centre.

She said: 'Most people who suffer a brain tumour are not in a position to speak out about it.

'In the UK more children and people under the age of 40 die of a brain tumour than any other cancer - yet brain tumour research is woefully under-funded.

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'Sailing round Britain is a great personal challenge for me and I will never be far from medical help should I need it. We are hoping to raise at least �20,000 for research and �5,000 for the Big C Centre.'

Together with her husband, who has just finished doing a PhD in coastal research at the UEA, Mrs Phillips will set off from Fox's marina in Ipswich on May 15 and hopes to return by the end of August, stopping off at several points along the way to meet friends and drum up support.

Mrs Phillips met her husband at Bangor University in Wales where they both studied. Mr Phillips had always sailed and his wife took it up when they got together.

They bought a boat, Nordlys, from Falmouth and have since sailed to Weymouth together.

Mr Phillips said: 'Josie has made fantastic progress and is in really good health. She has the support of doctors as well as her family and friends.

'We do what we can to stay healthy and eat well but Josie's motto is that life is for living to the full so we want to make the most of life.

'We are both really looking forward to doing this challenge together and want to thank all the people and companies who have sponsored and supported us so far.'

Their route in May will take them southwards before travelling up the west of the country and back down the east through the Caledonian Canal.

So far they have raised about �3,000. They are being supported by Arke Ltd and Apogee Engineering Analysis Solutions.

Mrs Phillips will return to the N&N in September to continue her training.

To follow her progress or help raise funds go to

Are you doing something remarkable to help others? Contact Sarah Hall on 01603 772426 or email