Wednesday 15th March 2017

North West

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"I was diagnosed with cancer when I was only 13 years old. I was just a normal teenager and just starting my third year of high school. In my spare time, I loved dancing and ice skating.

I had been experiencing nausea, headaches and dizziness for more than 6 months. I even started to have double vision. During that time, I was having constant trips to the GP and getting numerous tests done. But each time I visited the doctor, the tests never came back with anything conclusive and my GP just diagnosed me with migraines.

It was only through my mother's persistence and a couple of visits to A&E that my symptoms were taken seriously.

Once admitted into hospital for observation my father insisted on a CT scan, this scan enabled the doctor to diagnose me with a Medulloblastoma brain tumour.

When the doctor told me I had cancer, I was shocked but never felt upset. I don't think I understood fully what the doctor was telling me as he was telling me everything so quickly. I was told that I was going to be having an emergency operation the very next morning.

I don't think I had enough time to let it all sink in that I actually had cancer.

The next day I had surgery in which the doctors fully removed all of the brain tumour. Directly after this I underwent both 6 weeks of radiotherapy and 48 weeks of chemotherapy with my last dose of chemotherapy received on Christmas Eve, 2012.

Due to the effects of the surgery I developed a condition called Posterior Fossa Syndrome. This has caused my mobility to severely deteriorate, at first I could hardly move around in a bed and suffered with severe pain whenever the nurses tried to sit me upright. For a few years I was using a wheelchair to move around but now, 5 years post treatment, I am slowly beginning to regain my ability to walk independently.

For most of my treatment I was at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and I had my radiotherapy administered at The Christie in the Teenage Cancer Trust associated unit. I had to travel between the 2 hospitals in an ambulance daily for 6 weeks to receive the radiotherapy all whilst I was so ill.  

The best thing I found about staying in Hospital were the Nurses. They were all so friendly and understanding.

They would constantly try to cheer me up and joke around with me to make me feel like a 'normal' person again and forget about everything that was happening.

Since the end of my treatment, I have successfully completed my GCSE’s at high school, Wardle Academy, and A-Levels at Rochdale Sixth Form College. I am now currently taking a gap year to work on my mobility. Every few months I travel to Essex for a couple of weeks each time to do intensive physiotherapy.

When I first heard of Runway on the Runway, I knew it would be a big goal that I could work toward: walking down the catwalk.

I wanted to challenge myself, raise awareness of teenage cancer and help raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust.

Purchase your tickets for Runway on the Runway 2017 at Manchester Airport