Amanda in a red Invictus Games Team UK polo shirt. There is a barbell with weights on it behind her.

Invictus Games: Amanda’s story

Former military GP Amanda on how the Invictus Games is empowering her in the fight against lung cancer.

Amanda loved being a GP because she’d always wanted to help people. In 2007, she joined the Armed Forces to explore the world and face new challenges. 

"I started as an Armed Forces locum and spent nine months in Germany working with the Army, having previously worked with the RAF," says Amanda. 

During a visit from a senior military GP, they advised her to consider joining up full-time instead of just being in the reserves.  

“Before I knew it, I was fast-tracked and soon training at Sandhurst!” 

Amanda in full combat gear holding a gun, she is kneeling i the middle of a dirt road. Behind her we can see more soldiers.

Flourishing career

Whilst serving, Amanda completed a range of tours which took her all over the world. 

The Invictus Games

The Invictus Games harnesses the power of sport to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation for wounded, injured or sick servicemen and women.

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Photo of Amanda in combat gear. She is sat on some blankets on crossed legs. We can see some people also dressed in combat gear sat to either side of her. Close up photo of Amanda from the waist up. She is dressed in full combat gear and is smiling at the camera. Behind her we can see some scenic landscape views of what looks like a foreign country. Photo of Amanda in full combat gear holding a gun, behind her we can see a yellow sign stuck on a makeshift wall which says Medical IG Centre.

“Although everything was very overwhelming at first, I knew I was in the right place, with the right people and really loved it,” she says.  


During her time in Afghanistan, she particularly enjoyed working alongside multi-national teams, and her promotion to Senior Medical Officer at Camp Bastion meant she got the chance to work on a higher strategic level, developing new skills along the way.  

“My six months with the Irish Guards – they were a great bunch - was a really enjoyable experience and also my first time out there.  

“In Bastion, as a Senior Medical Officer, I had a big medical team to lead.  

“We were also the last medical team in Helmand, so I got the opportunity to be in Camp Bastion as it drew down just before being handed over.”  


Cancer diagnosis and finding the Invictus Games 


Amanda was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017, whilst she was still serving.  


After undergoing rigorous chemotherapy treatment and taking medications that severely impacted her mental and physical health, she left the Armed Forces in 2022.  

Leaving service left Amanda feeling overwhelmed, and she no longer felt like the strong, healthy and fit woman she once was. 


Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 came at the perfect time for her, just when she needed the motivation. 


“I knew upon leaving the Army that I needed something to focus on and I still wanted to feel part of something like I had in my military life,” says Amanda.  


“So I went along to the pre-selection training camps, and they were so enjoyable. Being able to try out different sports like powerlifting was new and challenging!”

I still wanted to feel part of something like I had in my military life.
Close up photo of Amanda in a red Invictus Games Team UK polo shirt. We can see some weights on a barbell behind her. She is leaning against the barbell. She is smiling at the camera.

Selection for Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023

Amanda’s selection to compete in the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 was unexpected. 

"I am still really surprised that a woman of my age and in my condition with lung cancer has been selected for the Games,” she says. “But I am now more determined than ever to get fit and see how far I can go.” 

Being selected has already had a major impact on her wellbeing. She’s been going to the gym more regularly and swimming where she can, and both the pre-selection training camps and the opportunity to meet new people have given her a “significant boost”.  

“Invictus has given me a definite goal for now and into next year, to get fitter and stronger,” she says.  

But for Amanda, recovery is not simply about the short term.  

“The benefits of exercise have been shown to improve quality of life as well as mental wellbeing in cancer patients,” says Amanda.  

“For me it’s about staying well and living longer, which means sticking to a healthy lifestyle. 

“I hope to be a successful role model and become an ambassador for the games, inspiring and encouraging other serving personal and veterans with chronic health conditions to apply for future games."

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