Friday 2nd June 2017

"The desolation and fear that followed my cancer diagnosis was overwhelming and exhausting not only for me but for my family and friends too. In a matter of just a few weeks I quickly went from a healthy, vigorous and upbeat teenager to a restricted, scared and feeble cancer victim.

However, with the determination, time and support Teenage Cancer Trust provided I was ready to fight back.

The specialist care unit was a real comfort during my time as an inpatient, it was an escape to normality and the change of scene was easing when friends came to visit. I made full use of the facilities that were provided such as the jukebox and pool table to help pass the time and was thankful for the distraction from treatment. Since my diagnosis, I have been invited to incredible Teenage Cancer Trust events such as The Royal Albert Hall trip to London. During this trip, I met other cancer patients and while getting to know them and their own personal stories, I could really relate to their experiences and thoughts. Not only did this help me to comprehend but also accept the ongoing changes to my life. Since this trip, I have kept in touch with these patients and feel fortunate to have made some true friends for life thanks to Teenage Cancer Trust!

Personally, from experience I know that the continuous care this charity gives is fundamental during treatment and therefore I wholeheartedly believe it's so important that it reaches every teenager affected by cancer.

Unfortunately, cancer affects us all in one way or another. I grew up as a healthy and energetic girl that rarely visited my local doctors and had never stayed overnight in hospital before. 

Being healthy, and I’ll admit it, but I always thought to myself "it'll never happen to me". I suppose no one expects such a setback to happen to them and so therefore no one is prepared especially at such a young age.

When I was diagnosed, at 15, I was in total disbelief even though I had been enduring many of the obvious symptoms for weeks. This was because I was uneducated on the issue. Due to this, I dismissed some of the major indicators as though they were nothing, when in fact they were everything.

I strongly believe that if my school had been one of the 25% that were given a presentation by Teenage Cancer Trust, I would have realised and been diagnosed sooner but instead I suffered in silence. In the hope that this doesn’t happen to anyone else, I cannot express how necessary and crucial it is to raise awareness and teach as many young people as possible about the reality of cancer. If Teenage Cancer Trust is supported and given funds to help reach more schools and groups, to educate more teenagers, we may finally have a young generation that isn’t afraid to speak about cancer out loud which will undoubtedly have a bigger and more reassuring impact on future cancer patients."

To find out about how you can support young people with cancer this General Election, hear from our Head of Policy Sasha Daly or read our other election blogs