Will Docherty – Trustee
Born in Inverness, I have a German wife and a teenage stepdaughter. I am a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and having worked for over 33 years for two firms, I set up my own company in 2020. I am now familiar with the steep learning curve associated with starting out in business!
Through my career I have lived and worked in various locations in the UK as well as Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Whilst I was living in the UAE, I was diagnosed with stage 3 adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. As an expat, I was fortunate that my employer’s medical insurance policy allowed me to have the initial diagnosis and neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy treatment at home in the UAE, before undergoing oesophagectomy surgery by Professor Arnulf Hölscher in Germany.
As I recently passed the five-year anniversary of my diagnosis, I wrote a post on social media and it is staggering to see the size of the team involved in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
In my case, it involved many teams from five hospitals in three countries – and that is just the people I saw. In addition, there are countless more behind the scenes, each making a valuable contribution to the team effort, albeit often without acknowledgement.
The excellent medical support was supplemented by family, friends and colleagues, which was paramount in allowing me to focus on recovery and I thank them all.
As a Trustee of the OPA, I want to increase awareness of this disease to allow more early diagnosis and therefore improving the prognosis of those who will be affected in future.