Former Marine taking on new career as pilot after cancer battle
A man who was discharged from the Royal Marines following cancer treatment is en-route to achieving a second dream career as a professional pilot, thanks to the charity Wings for Warriors.
James Tudor-Taylor, 27, from Shrewsbury, has already obtained his private pilot's licence and is training to become a commercial pilot, having already been offered a job with Tui.
His wife, Emily, a 27-year-old nurse at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and director of Little GemFX, a wedding lighting company, is now planning to hold a fundraising ball for the charity at Netley Hall in Dorrington on March 25.
Emily said: "James is a hero and we wanted to help other people in his position by holding a ball to hopefully raise £10,000.
"I am currently seeking a company willing to sponsor a welcome drink for the event.
"As a family we wanted to help others as I think that it is amazing that while unknowingly suffering from a tumour growing around his spine James managed to complete the Royal Marine Commando training.
"Shortly after passing out, as one of the original 55 that started, James became unwell and was diagnosed with a rare form of an aggressive bone cancer called Ewings Sarcoma in early 2020.
"The tumour eventually grew so big it crushed his spinal cord which led to severe back pain and the loss of mobility.
"Luckily, James had emergency surgery to the spine followed by 28 cycles of intensive chemotherapy and proton beam therapy, which was led by an amazing team of doctors and consultants from Oswestry Orthopaedic Hospital and Christie's Hospital.
"It was quite unbelievable, that he managed to complete Royal Marines course and the four Commando tests, with a final yomp of 30 miles across Dartmoor, which is known to be one of the most physically challenging tests in the military.
"Now in remission James last year he applied for Wings For Warriors support and passed their assessment and selection process after gaining a CAA Class 1 medical.
"They provided funding, with the help of SSAFA, The Walker Charity, The RM Charity and The Royal Greenwich Hospital, for James to obtain his private pilot's licence."
James has gained the Best Student award at the Shropshire Aero Club and is now attending Skyborne Academy where he has started a gruelling six-months learning the theory required for a First Officer.
Emily said: "None of this would have been possible without the help, support and funding from WFW and their donors.
"With this in mind, we wanted to give something back, to enable the charity to help other injured and sick servicemen and women."
Tickets for the £50 per person Charity Ball, which includes a three-course meal, disco, auction and a raffle, are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.