A message from Emily, Inspirational Young Person Wellchild Award Winner 2016 and Kids2Go Maisie Norton trophy winner:
I am a normal 14-year-old girl. But I am registered blind thanks to a cancerous brain tumour when I was eight years old.
I had 18 miserable months of chemotherapy at the amazing Piam Brown Children’s Cancer Unit in Southampton General Hospital. While I was being treated there I met many inspirational children fighting cancer. It is lovely to see most of them now well on the way to recovery, or even clear of cancer.
But not all survived and people don’t want to talk about those amazing young kids who lost their painful battle with cancer. Every one of them fought tirelessly for their life with amazing courage and tenacity even though they were staring death in the face.
It sounds dramatic, but cancer changes, ruins and steels the lives of the elderly and the middle-aged. Cruelest of all, it steels the lives of innocent young children.
As kids with cancer we try to put on a brave face in front of our family and friends. But they don’t understand how terrifying it is not to know what the next month, week, or even a day will bring. Will tomorrow be my last? Will I ever fulfill my childhood dreams of growing up, getting a job, finding a partner and creating a family of my own? We have to be brave and fight hard to survive and live. You don’t realize what being brave or fighting hard for life actually means until it’s your only choice.
Even now, almost 4 years post-treatment, when everyone has assumed that I’ve been miraculously ‘cured of cancer’, I still have a possibility of relapse. And I have a higher chance of developing a new and different cancer. I still have scans, check-ups, needles, blood tests and more.
Once you get cancer, the fight never ends.
We young survivors may have lost limbs, organs, sight and more. And we lost precious years of childhood while suffering. But more than others we realize just how precious each day is, how precious and vital to our existence our family and friends are. And we have a thirst for Life. But we wouldn’t have managed it without the amazing support of those close to us.
September was Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Help me, and those kids who are now suffering, to make every month a Childhood Cancer Awareness month! Childhood Cancer can be beaten – I am living proof of that!
Your support will make a world of difference for those children fighting that life-threatening cancer – and a world of difference for their caring parents.