An inspirational nurse from Trelogan who beat cancer and is now helping others battling the disease is in the running for an award.
Siwan Owen, 29, who works in the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan, has been nominated for the Welsh Language Award in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board staff awards.
Siwan will be among the finalists at the gala awards night at Venue Cymru in Llandudno in November, sponsored by IT provider Centreprise International Business.
Siwan said: “I was amazed to find out I’d been nominated. It’s really nice to think someone has recognised what I do in my day-to- day work.
“But it’s not just about me, it’s about the whole team I work with.
“I know from my own experience that being able to hear your diagnosis and what’s happening to you in your first language, in my case Welsh, is so important.
“It’s especially important when you have just heard you have cancer.
“Translating medical information and details of medication and treatments into Welsh is so important for a Welsh first language patient – especially at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
“I really am proud to have been nominated for the Welsh language staff award although it’s just what I do every day.
“I have been through the cancer experience and know what it’s like so being able to understand your diagnosis and get advice in your first language is vital.”
Siwan was inspired to become a haematology clinical nurse thanks to the nurse who helped her when she was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was just 11.
She said: “I grew up in Trelogan, where I still live with my parents. I fell ill when I was 11 and it took two weeks before I finally got my diagnosis. I was treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
“I had to undergo two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy and. as Welsh was and still is my first language, having someone there to tell me what was happening in Welsh so I could fully understand was so important to me.
“I was helped by an inspirational nurse called Eleri Roberts who now lives on Anglesey. I still see her quite often and talk on the phone. She was one of the main reasons I have followed the career path that I have.”
While undergoing her own cancer treatment Siwan drew up a to-do list, including three very important milestones.
She said: “The first thing I wanted to do was ride a bike again and I’ve certainly managed that. I have recently completed a 100 mile Ride London Challenge from the Olympic Park through Surrey and finishing on the Mall.
“I also had skiing on my to-do list and I’ve managed that twice and I’m going again and the third thing was to wear a pair of high heels. I bought myself a pair of Jimmy Choos and they might be really uncomfortable – but I still love wearing them!”
Siwan was nominated for the award by BCUHB Welsh language tutor Ceri Phillips.
The health board received
more than 100 nominations across the 15 categories for the staff awards.
According to chief executive Gary Doherty, the awards are designed to celebrate the hard work, commitment and success of both staff and volunteers.