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BU student to be an Olympic torch bearer

20 March 2012

Lisa Marshall Psychology student to carry the iconic torch.

Lisa Marshall, a 2nd year Bournemouth University Psychology student received confirmation on Friday 16 March, that she will be an Olympic torch bearer. She is carrying the torch on 5 July from Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Of 88,000 people nominated, just 8,000 people were selected, Lisa being one of them. Lisa's mum nominated her last year whilst she was recovering from a spinal injury.

Her mum stated in her nomination that "Lisa gives her time to others through volunteering whilst studying at Uni, despite having had 3 major surgeries in the last 4 years".

Lisa has cerebral palsy and in July 2008, during her GCSE's had hip resurfacing on her right hip. The four weeks leading up to then, she had been bed ridden. In November 2009, during her AS Levels, she had her left hip resurfaced. Finally, last July, she had an operation to have her spine fused, with rods and screws right from the bottom of her neck to her pelvis.

Lisa was nominated for the Olympic torch because of her determination to come to university and study with the aim of becoming an educational psychologist.

She has also volunteered a lot of her time whilst at University, as a reading buddy in a local school and as a positive role model in a school in her home town, which had a number of special educational needs pupils. At the end of her first year at University Lisa was nominated for, and won the, "Volunteer of the Year" award at BU.

Lisa said, "I am currently studying at University to become an educational psychologist in order to help others with disabilities in the future. I believe this is important because while overt discrimination has dramatically decreased, there is still a need for people with disabilities to be present in the community as active citizens in order to decrease people's misconceptions.

"I am already striving to achieve this goal by being a mentor for other people with disabilities and their families in schools and social services. I hope to extend this to the NHS to improve staff's understanding of the implications of having a long term disability while recovering from surgery. My long term goal is to set up a holistic service where all services work together".

Lisa has had much support for becoming an Olympic torch bearer, and her grandmother articulates that "she is an inspiration to us all, conquering all that she has been through but keeping her sense of humour, personality and still thinking of others".

We are all very proud of Lisa and her achievements, and are honoured to have an Olympic torch bearer in our midst!

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