Student Dominic planning nine-peak challenge after cancer battle

Dominic Paul, Aeronautical Engineering student, has survived sarcoma and is now planning to scale the UK's highest peaks to raise money for Sarcoma UK. Neil Gibson, August 2017.

Dominic Paul

WHEN Dominic Paul was in hospital being treated for cancer, he was amazed at the positive attitude of other patients who ‘were much worse off’ than he was.

So he’s decided to head to the top of Britain’s nine highest mountains to raise money for Sarcoma UK, and use the funds to support others who are diagnosed with the rare condition.

Dominic was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma – which affected soft tissue at the top of his back - in 2015, when he was in the second year of his Aeronautical Engineering degree at the University of South Wales (USW).

There followed two operations, one to diagnose the condition, and the second a scapulectomy, which involved removing his right shoulder blade and nearby tissue. He was then given radiotheraphy, and will have regular check-ups for the next 10 years.

During a month in hospital following his operation, Dominic – who is from Capel, near Dorking, in Surrey - was inspired to do all he could for the charity, which carries out research into treatment for sarcoma sufferers.

“Before I was diagnosed in my early 20s I was very active, and particularly enjoyed cricket. I played for the USW first team,” he said.

“I was young to be diagnosed with sarcoma, it usually affects people in their 30s and 40s, and there’s only about 3,000 people in the UK who develop it each year.

“When I was in hospital recovering from the treatment, I saw people there who were much worse off than me, and whose positive attitude was incredible. They weren’t willing to just accept what was happening without battling for their health.

“It was a massive eye-opener. I have been given a second chance and just wanted to help.”

True to his word, Dominic is about to set off on a massive trek to raise money for Sarcoma UK.

“Early in September I’m going to be climbing the three highest mountains in Wales, then the three highest in England, which are in the Lake District, before heading to the three highest peaks in Scotland,” he said.

“I’d planned to do them in nine days, but I’ve been advised that a day off to travel between the three countries would be sensible, so it’ll take me 12 days now.

“I was originally hoping to raise £1,000 for the charity, but I’ve already done that, so want to raise even more and make the most of my efforts.”

Dominic, who is now starting his final year at USW after taking time off for his treatment, is expecting the trek to have its ups and downs, in more ways than one.

“This is going to be a massive challenge, and I’m sure I will struggle,“ he said.

“But I’m really keen to do all I can to raise money for anyone who can benefit from the charity’s efforts.”        

Donations to Dominic’s challenge can be made at