Age: 15

Cancer type:

"I had just turned 15 years old when I was diagnosed with cancer.

At the time, I was a year 10 student at Haydon Bridge High School, just starting my GCSE subjects, enjoying sport like any normal teenager. 

In December that year, I noticed a lump in my mouth and had some swelling on the left side of my face. I told my mum about it and she took me to see my GP. This was just after Christmas and by mid-January, I had a biopsy done to confirm I had a cancerous tumour in my left cheek bone. 

When I was told I had cancer I was absolutely shocked.

The doctors told me that I needed to have 3 courses of chemotherapy and a 13-hour operation to remove the tumour. Part of my cheek bone was replaced by bone from my hip. I spent one week in Intensive Care Unit and another four weeks in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Because of my treatment I’ve lost my left eye, 7 teeth and I have difficulty full opening my mouth. It was also hard for me to walk but I’m okay now.

2 months after my surgery I went with my family out to Jacksonville in Florida for proton therapy where we stayed for 9 weeks.

The chemotherapy made me feel really sick. When I moved onto the proton therapy it made my throat extremely sore.

I was treated on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where I spent 3 days at a time. I loved watching all the DVDs they had there and hanging out with the visitors that came onto the unit. 

I finished my treatment just less than a year ago and am now sitting my GCSEs. I’ve started playing volleyball again and love going to see Newcastle United!

Last year I watched people take part in an abseil for Teenage Cancer Trust whilst I was recovering from my operation at the RVI and decided then if I was well enough I would take on this year's challenge. I was very nervous to begin but once I was on my way down the experience was awesome"

Sponsor Samuel on JustGiving

(Sam cutting the ribbon with the Mayor of Gateshead)