Age: 15

Cancer type: Hodgkin lymphoma

I had been suffering from pains in my stomach, ankles and knees for nearly a year. I had a chest x-ray and it showed that I had Hodgkin's lymphoma

My dad had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma when he was around my age, so he saw it coming but it was still upsetting for us all. My mum was crying and it was horrible to see.


I started my chemotherapy at Birmingham Children's Hospital and I was surrounded by little kids. Teenage Cancer Trust made it possible for me to meet others my age who were at various stages of treatment, giving us the opportunity to exchange stories about our experiences.

Having met these people, it has become very clear how valuable and indispensable Teenage Cancer Trust is to countless others throughout the country.

Ammarah walkingThe Youth Support Coordinator was also brilliant, and she was always there if I needed her. She arranged for me to go to Find Your Sense of Tumour - I enjoyed being able to get away from everything and have fun with other young people who had been through cancer. They understood what I was going through, and I could have a laugh with them.

My mum saw an advert for Teenage Cancer Trust's More Than A Marathon fundraiser which asked people to walk, jog or run 28 miles over the course of a month.

Because they did so much for me, I wanted to raise some money for Teenage Cancer Trust to say thank you.

I had a lot of joint pains due to chemotherapy and I was just about to start radiotherapy, so I knew that doing it wouldn't be really easy, but that it would be good to get my muscles moving. 

Ammarah walking with her mum

My whole family got involved. I'd often walk with my mum to my uncle's house and spend some time there seeing relatives and then get a lift back, or we would walk to a park from radiotherapy. 

My mum would help make it fun by planning out routes to local areas which I hadn't seen before so that we could walk there and explore it.

It was really easy to fit the miles in. Some days I would do a bit more than a mile, so I had some to fall back on if I wasn't feeling up to it another day.

Ammarah walking with her mum

My family were also great at sponsoring me. I set a target of £300 but raised £2,187

I'd encourage anyone to take part in More Than A Marathon as it's really manageable, and you can do it at your own pace.

If you know you are going to have some spare time one day, you can do extra miles so that you won't fall behind if you can't fit it in some days. It is great to help people with their fitness goals and you get a real sense of accomplishment. 

Take on More Than A Marathon for young people like Ammarah!