BTAM 8GR8 Songs #2
Updated: Apr 30
Model and Actor Mandy Lomax
Picture: Mandy Lomax with a new outlook on life / Credit: Mandy Lomax
Episode one of The Hub's Brain Tumour Awareness Month 8GR8 Songs series featured Neurosurgeon Simon Stapleton from St George's Hospital, Tooting. The third guests are a professor neurosurgeon and clinical nurse specialist and the final guest is the CEO of a brain tumour charity.
Our second guest, Mandy Lomax, provides a patient's perspective of the condition. Mandy had a twenty-odd year successful career as a model and actor before a "lucky fall" identified an underlying and potentially fatal brain tumour. In an engaging, open and honest conversation Mandy discusses her professional career and the dramatic health experiences that have shaped her later life.
She describes how those experiences have given her a new perspective on life and a new role as a patient representative for another health condition. You can read and hear Mandy's story and 8GR8 Songs choices, radio broadcast and playlist below.
Postscript: Mandy's post clearly struck a cord, reaching no. 13 on MixCloud's Global Interview chart in the week of posting.
Listen to Mandy
The Eyes of a Tigress: Mandy Lomax after surviving a series of serious health conditions
The whiter area is caused by radiotherapy / Credit: Mandy Lomax
From 80 to 8GR8 Songs
Mandy says she was "taken aback" by the invitation to be an 8GR8 Songs guest.
"I thought that's a nice question. I could give you 80 choices but I find it difficult to choose just 8. I haven't chosen songs that I associate with different times of my life. I just don't think like that.
These are all some of my all time favourites. They are a mix of different genres and they all get me going. They make me cry, they make me laugh, they lift me up."
On the Catwalk, On the Catwalk Yeah!
Picture Gallery: A Polaroid modelling pic; On the Catwalk; Hair Back
/ Credit: Mandy Lomax
Sending some Polaroids to an agent sparked Mandy's 20-odd year modelling and acting career. There she found comradeship alongside the competitiveness she would expect of any industry. Along with model assignments across the world Mandy has a string of professional IMDB acting credits to her name and is known for appearing in an iconic Pink Floyd album covers poster.
Mandy declined the tag "glamourous" saying her career was memorable for hard work and long hours. But she acknowledges she enjoyed the travel, the friendships and learning so much over the years. Reflecting, she adds: "I learnt a surprising amount of life skills, building rapport with a range of people often under stressful conditions and latterly stepping into voice work. It was a very character building career."
A Lucky Fall
Picture: Mandy on a film set with a horse before her fall
Mandy was on the film set of Fields of Demeter in 2008 in the cameo role of Niamh, a fairy princess with golden hair, who bewitches Irish warrior Oisin with her magical beauty. The link goes to a video of the film and Mandy's short scene with a horse and a fellow actor at 20:48.
In the audio interview below Mandy describes "the dramatic events" of that day and how she entered a sliding doors world via a "lucky fall" where her health became paramount.
Valuing the Moment
Picture: Sacred Mountain - Mandy in 2018 with Mount Fuji in the background
/ Credit: Mandy Lomax
At the end of the conversation Mandy reflects on a new set of priorities and how she would like to indulge her passion for long haul travel post-Covid. She also discusses plans to share some of the often funny-in-a-crisis stories from her experiences. You can listen to Mandy sharing her story via the link below.
If you have been personally affected by a brain tumour you can Get Support and advice from the Brain Tumour Charity. You can support the Charity's advocacy and campaigning work by joining #voicesforchange.
Mandy on the Radio
Picture: Mandy contemplating her new life - Kalahari Desert, 2017
/ Credit: Mandy Lomax
After the conversation ended Mandy added Diane Ross' Theme from Mahogany (Do you know where you're going to?) as a bonus track to reflect her new outlook on life. You can listen to the broadcast of Mandy's 8GR8 Songs and interview on Epsom Hospital Radio by clicking on the links below.
EHR: 11/03 Ten to Eleven
EHR: 11/03 Eleven to Twelve
Listen to Mandy's Music
You can listen to a playlist of Mandy's 8GR8 Songs plus bonus track via the link below.