Please Help Marcus Gain His Osteopathy Degree

by Marcus Cook in Hazlemere, England, United Kingdom

Please Help Marcus Gain His Osteopathy Degree
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Hello!Welcome to my Crowdfunder! I am raising funds to cover the first year tuition fees for my Four-year M.Ost/B.Ost Integrated Masters/Bac...

by Marcus Cook in Hazlemere, England, United Kingdom


Welcome to my Crowdfunder! I am raising funds to cover the first year tuition fees for my Four-year M.Ost/B.Ost Integrated Masters/Bachelor of Osteopathy Studies through the University of Derby. I would really appreciate your help to raise £6,935 of the £27,740 needed for this 4 year course. This is held in London at Middlesex University with Clinical hours in Borehamwood. 

Whatever you can donate would be incredibly appreciated even if its a £1.

About Me

Hi, my name is Marcus. I have accepted an offer to study in London starting this September. It is an opportunity that I am determined to make work as I am a (very) mature student at 54 years of age and do not want to delay putting it off another year.


I did start to study Osteopathy back in 2012 but unfortunately caught an infection whilst working on a respiratory ward for the NHS. I fell ill losing a third of my lungs to CMV Pneumonia and had a secondary infection of Encephalitis just to add to the problem. Needing over 18 months to recover and having to learn to "breathe again" at the Royal Free Hospital meant postponing the course. Eventually I needed to leave the course to recover. 

After this episode I returned to the NHS on a part time basis but gave up on my pursuit of becoming an Osteopath, my health and mental wellbeing being my main priority.

I have now however, come to realise that my decision to stop chasing my dream spoke less to my ability and more to my fear of being too old to continue my academic path. Being offered a place on this programme is a privilege I do not take lightly.

I have decided to make this plea, which is not an easy decision for me to make by any means but, having been given my dream offer to study the 4year M.Ost/B.Ost Integrated Masters/Bachelor of Osteopathy starting in September I am striving to make it a reality. I cannot, however, afford to take up my place unless I raise the fees. With your support of my Crowdfunder, however, I trust I will raise the funds I need.

I have big ambitions, but why should you sponsor me? 

I hope to study visceral and cranial Osteopathic techniques to better understand the gut-brain axis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to regulate various aspects of inflammation.

I plan to research the integrative action of the autonomic nervous system and the communication interface between the nervous system and the immune system which constantly monitors and reacts to environmental and/or emotional situation. There are some studies indicating the influence of osteopathic manipulative treatment on autonomic function. 

Microbiota-gut-brain axis disorder has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of various diseases such as depression, Parkinson disease, obesity, and irritable bowel syndrome. The aim being to break the neurogenic inflammatory viscous cycle and facilitate tissue recovery.  

A life with less or no pain can mean a return to the things we love doing - gardening, dancing, working, cooking, climbing - even just walking to the shops is too painful for some people. You might not know anyone who suffers from persistent pain, but the stats suggest that you will, and in the future it may be you. By helping me raise the funds to study you will become part of a social movement to fight pain across a diverse range of communities. Remember - everyone has the right to a pain-free life!

I would love to be able to help others positively impact people to understand their pain/inflammation and move towards managing their health struggles, not only to survive but to go on and thrive, helping equip them with the tools to better manage and cope with the pain and inflammation they experience, to empower them to go on and live their best lives, or even just to help them find the strength and peace to go on living. 

It would be a dream come true to be able to complete my Osteopathy degree and donate my free time, as a qualified Osteopath, to those desperately in need of support, who cannot afford to enlist the services of a therapist and have no one to turn to in their time of need. In doing so I hope to be able to go on and give back to the community and make an impact on thousands of lives.  

Please share this as widely and as generously as you can on your social media posts. With only 12 weeks to reach my target I really need and value your help. 

Whatever you can donate would be incredibly appreciated even if its a £1.

I can secure my travel, living and additional diagnostic and clinical costs but will not be able to start without the added tuition fees. I will be applying to many other scholarships and funding bodies to try and cover as much as I can and will keep you all updated with this.

What am I doing to raise funds?

Having started my own rehabilitation business in September 2019 I had hoped business would boom to fund my own education. For the run up to March things looked promising but, the lockdown, government restrictions and being in the vulnerable health bracket meant isolation and inevitably my business suffered. Not eligible for any of the government loans or any financial help I have and am struggling to comeback from this period with hope of finding the fees for the programme.

The tuition fees for the four-year course amounts to £27,740, which is a lot of money. I am appealing to anyone who can help me raise my first years funding of £6,935. Though I have applied for some scholarships, they either cover a small proportion of the fees or have extremely specific eligibility requirements that I do not meet (such as needing to have been educated at a certain school). At the time of writing this, the course does not have SFE (Student Finance England) of whom would pay a proportion of the fees with me paying back once qualified. The requirements for my entry onto the degree financial (I need to prove that I can self-fund for the course). The Guardian estimates that over 1000 students like me each year who are offered a place for study at Uni must turn it down purely based on the fact they do not have the money to pay for it. With your support, however, I will make it come September. 

I continue to work with Neuro - patients in their homes delivering rehabilitation for those suffering Stroke and Parkinson's. I am delivering on-line exercise classes as well as personal training in my garden and seeing people for manual therapy suffering pain or injury. I intend to continue working during my studies to fund myself, but clinic hours increase as the programme progresses and time to do so will become scarcer! 

What is Osteopathy & Why Now? 

Osteopathy is a gentle and effective hands-on approach to healthcare, based on the principle that the way your body moves influences how it functions.

Osteopaths are highly competent healthcare professionals, recognised by the NHS as fully qualified to diagnose and treat independently. 

 As well as lectures there is a total of 1000 supervised clinic hours starting right from Year One. 

 It is a huge undertaking and some people have tried to discourage me suggesting I am too old to study for a degree. I however disagree feeling that life experience presents no better time to undertake this degree. I would like to set up in practice once qualified and work for as long as possible with an eventual target to employ others and eventually move into teaching.

I am determined to make it work because I know I will make a good Osteopath and have over the past 16 years worked at developing myself with CPD (continuous professional development) courses pouring my all into studying as many relevant add on as possible. Course have included, soft tissue therapy, anatomy, physiology, pathology, acupuncture, and a Parkinson’s exercise instructor course. I have worked for the NHS within MSK and neuro-physiotherapy Associate rehab roles with both Stroke and Parkinson’s patients and continue to do so for a private physiotherapy company. I have given over 1000 hours of free massages supporting fundraising events for charities such as the London Marathons, Moon Walk/Ride events - London to Brighton, Middlesex Cricket Team, Water Aid, Cancer Research, mental health and handicap charities as well as the NSPCC and the list goes on.

Saving for this degree by myself would take me well into my 60’s, assuming that there are no personal emergencies, or another pandemic. By this point I feel I would be forced to throw in the towel and admit defeat regretting not trying this avenue.

 With your greatly appreciated support, I trust that I can and will reach my goal and head to Uni in September.

Thank you so much!


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