When I was 20, I played water polo and I found myself getting really tired and I was being sick in the mornings. I had several blood tests at the doctors and they told me to go to York Hospital.
They did some tests on my bone marrow and confirmed that it was leukaemia. It all happened so quickly; it was only a week since I first went to the doctors.
Finding out you have cancer when you're 20 is absolutely terrifying.
Whilst my friends were worrying about exams at uni, I was facing the 'c word', but Teenage Cancer Trust made my experience a lot better than it could have been.
Within a day of finding out I had leukaemia, I met Diane, a Teenage Cancer Trust nurse consultant, who ended up playing a huge role in my treatment. She came into my isolation room at York Hospital and that was the first time I heard about Ward J94, Teenage Cancer Trust's specialist unit in Leeds St James' University Hospital. Diane strongly suggested that I move hospitals to become part of the Teenage Cancer Trust family.
At first, I was very hesitant. I couldn't help thinking 'Why should I move? Why would I want to be further away from my family?'. However, these thoughts didn't last long.
Moving to J94 was the best decision I've ever made.
I moved from an isolation room to the size of a large cupboard, where my family had to wear aprons and gloves, to being able to have them stay and spend the day playing pool with them. Diane was there to answer any questions my family and I had, and still gives me a lot of support. The Youth Support Coordinator at J94 organised stuff to keep us busy - Friday brunch and Thursday pizza nights were definitely a firm favourite!
One of the main advantages of this ward was that they allowed visitors whenever - in each bay there was a chair that could be pulled out and turned into a bed. J94 also have an amazing day room. There's a pool table, which I have had legendary matches on! Something I did take for granted, and so did everyone who came to visit, was the free Wi-Fi. I cannot understand why all wards do not have it. The one place where life would be so much easier with the Internet is hospital, but it's the only place without it.
I had to have four separate rounds of chemo over seven months so being in the Teenage Cancer Trust unit really helped. The most important that Teenage Cancer Trust did for me was to give me an escape, even just for a few seconds. They distracted me from what was really going on.
Watching TV, FaceTiming friends and family, having a game of pool, these were all things that made me concentrate on something other than cancer. If it wasn't for Teenage Cancer Trust, I truly think I would have gone made and my treatment would have been so much harder.
Diane and all the support staff were amazing and Teenage Cancer Trust made my time in hospital bearable. I wanted to raise some money to say thank you and I knew I wanted to do a challenge, but initially I had to take it day by day and build my strength up.
I am doing More Than A Marathon for the second time in April. I really enjoyed it last year - you run, jog, or walk 28 miles in 28 days, a mile for each of Teenage Cancer Trust's 28 amazing units across the UK.
I run the miles, but people can walk or jog and do a bit each day or do it in bursts.
It's a great way for people to get fit and surpass a marathon distance in their own time. I'm getting a few mates to join in as a team and can't wait to get going!