I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in September 2013, when I was 14. I was kayaking with some friends and was really struggling to keep up, something that had never happened before.
Pretty soon I developed chest pain which didn't disappear and I started feeling tired all the time. The weirdest thing was when I lost my appetite, because my entire life up to that point had revolved around food!
I was sent to Bristol Children's Hospital for tests. Finally a consultant broke the news to me and – I had cancer. I remember crying straight away. I knew how serious it was and my first thought was how much school I would miss and how I'd miss my friends in hospital.
I was admitted to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in ward 35 where I would stay for the next 6 months as I went through 5 rounds of intense chemotherapy. The treatment was hard; I had really bad sickness, fatigue and constantly sore muscles. My hair also fell out.
As hard as this was, the warm and lively atmosphere on the ward made it much more bearable. It felt more like home than hospital. Teenage Cancer Trust, and the Youth Support Coordinator Vicky, helped me build up my confidence again by providing pamper days and introducing me to other people my age going through treatment. The jukebox was a personal favourite!
Life after cancer:
When I finished treatment and found out the cancer was gone, this was when I needed support the most. I was diagnosed at 14, in my early teenage years, so I never learned how to be a teenager, and whilst everyone else grew up I was left behind.
I am now out of treatment and back in college studying for A-levels Health and Social Care, Biology and Psychology A-levels. I still listen to music 24/7, though I don't have my own jukebox yet!
Teenage Cancer Trust gave me the chance to be a normal teenager for the first time, showed me that I wasn't alone, and helped me to build lasting friendships with people who understand. I went to my first gig at the Teenage Cancer Trust Royal Albert Hall show, and I'm planning loads of events to help raise money for this amazing charity. Thanks to Teenage Cancer Trust, I have the opportunity to do incredible things with incredible people!