Starting a new life, beating cancer at 27, motherhood, and setting up ‘Mums the Heroes’ I came to England in 1999, arriving at Victoria coach station in the afternoon and tired from the long journey, but really excited to be studying English Language at the college. My diploma in Pharmacy and my letter, confirming my course, was neatly sitting in my documents folder as well as my coach return ticket with my money, around one thousand pounds, to pay for rent, travel etc. Back home was my family; my son who was nearly four, my amazing mum, my friends and colleagues and my heart that I have left with my little son. I had no doubts that my life was taking a new turn on a new page. From a tiny town in western Ukraine, having never flown on an aircraft before whilst also having a huge fears of aeroplanes, I was standing at the station, which to me looked like a giant centre of the city. Later on, seeing my tiny room in north London and meeting my flat mates was exciting too. In the flat was a German speaking girl, which made my life much easier. Without any knowledge of the language, the only part-time job I could get was as a cleaner at the hotel.. Starting school the very next day was again a novelty and an excitement at the same time. Our first teacher, Chris, was teaching us a new language by dropping the pen on the floor, jumping up and down and that’s how we had learned our first words, and an alphabet. Without any knowledge of the language, the only part-time job I could get was as a cleaner at the hotel through an employment agency. This was how I imagined my life i [...]

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