Always challenge the status quo

Dr.Lucy Mathen

Second Sight
Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
Motivational and inspirational (I am told)
Paid: Every penny of my fee will restore sight to blind people -- 25 for £500, 50 for £1000
22nd May 2017

You are never too small or too inexperienced to challenge someone or some idea if you really feel strongly about it. This is the advice my mother gave me and is why I have had such an eccentric but successful trajectory through life-- in journalism, medicine and now the so-called Third Sector. If I had not challenged the careers officer who did not suggest journalism to me because she thought it was 'too competitive" my life would have been very different. Getting into the habit of challenging when you are young means that you will find it almost impossible to sell out on your principles later in life.

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About Dr.Lucy Mathen

I was the first female Asian reporter on BBC TV back in 1976 and spent 16 years as a journalist before retraining as a doctor at the age of 36. I became an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) and in 2000 set up the charity Second Sight from the corner of my bedroom. In spite of being run by professionals who all volunteer their time and skills with no paid staff, the charity is recognised as punching well above its weight in the field of eradicating blindness.

I was the recipient of the inaugural Karen Woo award at the British Medical Journal's 'Oscars for Doctors' ceremony in 2012. While the award was for a doctor who had gone "beyond the call of duty" I accepted on behalf of the charity and all those who help us restore sight to 40,000 blind people each year in the state of Bihar in India (the worst place on the planet for cataract blindness).

I took up football at the age of 40, inspired by the formidable talent of my then 10year-old daughter and I would like to go down in history as the oldest woman to continue to play the game.

I started running marathons at the age of 50, ran three London marathons and my times put me in the Best for Age category... in the age bracket younger than my own.

I wrote a book called A Runaway Goat : curing blindness in forgotten India. In the introduction written by award-winning columnist Simon Barnes, I am described as "a colossal pain in the arse" but also "a tiger with all the best jokes." That's me.

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