Thursday 22nd June 2017
"I've been very fortunate in my life - I have had a great upbringing, courtesy of my parents, a superb state education and the blessing of a lethal combination of charm and wit that I humbly attribute to myself.
Everything was going swimmingly until I suffered a seizure in a night club whilst visiting a friend 5 years ago. It was completely out of the blue; I'd never had issues with my brain, regardless of the fact that I had enthusiastically embraced the social aspects of the undergraduate life.
I remember little of the evening - a good thing given the state I woke up in. I was in intensive care for a few days and a scan revealed a tumour in my brain which subsequently started to grow. An operation to remove the tumour in November last year revealed that it was cancerous; I was then forced to ride the radiotherapy wave and I am now battling the turbulent currents of chemotherapy.
Whilst family and friends can offer enormous comfort during the harder times, unfortunately, often there is a lingering feeling of unfulfillment. 'You're doing really well' only goes so far. But what are they supposed to say? Sporadically through my years I've met people with similar experiences to me and I've drawn great solace and release from these encounters.
I first came into contact with Teenage Cancer Trust after my operation in November and was overwhelmed by the support they offered. Having the opportunity to spend time with young people who have an intimate appreciation for bearing such a heavy load is priceless.
We are starting to enact irreparable changes that damage the very heart of our healthcare service. A service that is completely free, with no thought given to the extra expense of an X Ray or another blood test 'just in case'. Of course monies are finite but regardless of the echoing rattle in the moneybox we cannot cut through this artery. 7 young people are diagnosed with cancer daily. Teenage Cancer Trust add the personal touch to their treatment; bringing people together and providing invaluable comfort during the hardest times. I can face the upcoming years safe in this knowledge."