SHINING EXAMPLE: Former St Edmund's College student Tasman Pearl was honoured with the TJ Ryan Memorial Medal Scholarship. He was only one of ten students in Queensland to receive it.
SHINING EXAMPLE: Former St Edmund's College student Tasman Pearl was honoured with the TJ Ryan Memorial Medal Scholarship. He was only one of ten students in Queensland to receive it. Cordell Richardson

Cancer battle inspires teenager to follow career in health

A NINE month battle with cancer inspired teenager Tasman Pearl to follow a career path that would help others to heal.

After the outstanding leadership and commitment to his school he showed as a student at St Edmund's College, he has received a significant boost while taking the first steps to becoming a physiotherapist.

The 18-year-old is one of only ten in Queensland to be awarded with the TJ Ryan Memorial Medal Scholarship from the State Government, which contributes $10,000 towards study over the course of five years.

The award is named after Thomas Joseph Ryan, a former Queensland Premier, teacher and barrister and given to students who demonstrate academic excellence and set a shining example for others in their senior year.

He missed most of his first year of high school after receiving a cancer diagnosis in year eight but is in the clear after treatment.

"I missed pretty much nine months of school because I was going to the hospital every week," he said.

"I was very sick.

"That's what sparked my interest (in the health sector)."

His aunty, who works in the emergency department at the Ipswich Hospital, serves as a major role model.

After completing a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, he is not ruling out studying medicine.

"That's my ultimate goal," he said.

Tasman was St Edmund's co-dux last year, earned an OP 1 and received the best marks in Maths B, Maths C and English in his cohort during his final year and was one of four college captains.

He was also on the swim team, captain of the debating team, part of the concert band and worked to raise funds for a number of charities.

The teenager has volunteered at Childhood Cancer Support's Camp Crystal.

Tasman was nominated for the award by his school and Ipswich West MP Jim Madden.

"My advice (for students) would be to always put your best foot forward and try your best and get involved in the community and the school," he said.

"Try to accomplish all different aspects of life and not just focus on one thing, like academia or just your sport.

"Try and be a well rounded person and always try your best at everything."



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