A book, titled ‘One in Three Million’ documenting the incredible journey of local footballer and cancer survivor, Luke Wakeling has been published by and made available through Amazon.
The former Fitzwimarc pupil looked set for a career in the game, spending time at Southend United, before moving on to Bowers & Pitsea, Billericay Town and Great Wakering Rovers.
However, at the age of 18 and shortly before a planned football scholarship in America, Luke was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, which turned his life upside down.
The publication describes his ordeal, the battles he faced both in life and dealing with the illness as well as fulfilling his dreams of an American adventure.
“Initially, I started writing a journal for my own personal recollections of my experiences with cancer. Then I carried this on so I could remember my experiences in America,” he told Yellow Sport.
“Following a conversation with Dodie Hamilton, she suggested I should publish it into a book to help others. She thought the book could inspire people affected with cancer and explain that there is life after treatment.”
The 24-year-old spoke about his treatment: “I had nine months worth of treatment – fourteen cycles of chemotherapy, surgery and a month’s worth of radiotherapy,” he explained.
“Despite the gruelling treatment, I had the burning desire and determination to get back to where I once was. I made it out to America in pursuit of my dream.”
Luke is now working with the Southend United Academy as a strength and conditioning coach as well as assisting the first team as an intern science/strength and conditioning coach: “I wanted to prove that you can still live out your dreams, that the only barriers are put up are the ones you put up yourself. Not just with cancer, but any adversity. Being told you’re not good enough, being bullied, parents splitting up, I’ve been through all these things and I’m still successful.
“Life is about how you deal with situations and use them to better yourself. You only get one life so live it with no regrets.”