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Old Trident David overcomes adversity to achieve ultimate success

Alumni (OTs) Careers


David Bladen left Trent College in 2003 with aspirations of becoming a successful businessman and one day running his own company.

Little did he know that the road to success would be paved with a battle that he would need all his strength and determination to beat in order to reach his goal.

Upon graduating in Planning & Property Development from Nottingham Trent University in 2008, David struggled to find work.  Eager to gain experience, he offered his services free of charge to local business, Musson Liggins Chartered Surveyors.  It wasn’t long before the Directors recognised David’s enthusiasm and talent and they took him on the payroll full time.

All was going well for David, he was happy in his work gaining good experience and personally he was looking to the future with his girlfriend Natalie and planning their future.  But then came the bombshell that, at the young age of just 24, David was diagnosed with three types of testicular cancer and the illness had spread to the lymph nodes in his back.

David underwent surgery and four gruelling cycles of chemotherapy at Nottingham City Hospital, which due to his otherwise good health and his young age, was the highest dose being given to any cancer sufferer on his ward at the time.  This of course meant that David had a considerable amount of time off work.

Despite being away from work for six months, David remained focused on his career aspiration, determined to beat the illness and achieve his goal of becoming a business owner.

Now, after five years of check-ups, scans and ultimately being given the all clear from the illness, David has become an Equity Director of the firm he started out at back in 2008 as a new graduate.

Not only has David overcome adversity and achieved his professional goal but on a personal level, he married Natalie and became a father to daughter Darcey, now 3 and son Alfie, 1.

“I always wanted to run my own business and becoming an Equity Director was a massive commitment from me, which in turn has given me even more desire to do well personally and for the company.”

Not content with battling cancer, getting married, having a family and achieving career success David, who is an Old Tridents’ Society Committee Member and supporter of careers at Trent College, also organised a number of charity events including a charity football match to raise over £20,000 for Theo’s Fund (Two year old Theo Gilman suffered from Ewing’s Sarcoma and required treatment in America). Theo’s Fund also paid for TVs and DVD players for the Children’s Cancer Ward (E39) at the QMC with money also being donated to CLIC Sargent. Musson Liggins also sponsored a charity Rugby 7’s tournament held at Trent College, which was organised by David, to raise money for the Oncology Department at Nottingham City Hospital.

“The last few years have taught me that no matter what life throws at you, if you work hard and are committed, you can be successful. Since becoming an Equity Director, I now have excellent job security which is so important when it comes to looking after my greatest success of all, my family.”



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