Will S
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FYSOT Weekend

Will S
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12 Nov 2013

Last month I was lucky enough to attend a fantastic event which is called, brace yourselves, Find Your Sense Of Tumour. I was incredibly nervous about going as I knew very few people who would also be there, but I signed up for it and I'm so glad that I did.

The event is for young people aged between 14-25 and is held at Nottingham Center Parcs. I don't know the definitive number of people who attended but I can safely say that it was more than a few hundred across all of Great Britain. The weekend was split up fairly evenly into approximately one hour long lectures and free time, which could include using any of the facilities at the disposal of other guests. We listened to a variety of guest speakers who were all incredibly inspirational in their own right and some of the bravest people I've had the fortune to meet and these included: Stephen Sutton, Joe Twyman, Giles Long and Dame Ellen MacArthur. Of all the guest speakers, it was Stephen Sutton who spoke so incredibly passionately about how vital it is to live in the moment, that moved me the most and I'd highly recommend visiting his Facebook page.

Stephen Sutton and I

There were also afternoon workshops which were specific to different cancers. I attended the Leukaemia one and was so impressed with the honesty of both the questions raised by other cancer sufferers, but also the amount of empathy that you could see in the faces of the Doctors answering the questions. There were some topics of discussion that I found very hard to deal with, such as the possibility of infertility and memory loss and yet everything was tackled head on and I came away from the experience feeling both impressed and better educated for it.

However, it wasn't just the lecturers who have inspired and motivated me. I met a lot of teenagers who had endured some very, very difficult times and they were all such down to earth people. The weekend highlighted to me the resilience and psychological strength that teenagers possess and I came away with the will to become an even more appreciative person of what I do have.

I heard many fantastic people say some truly great things over the entire weekend but the one quote that did stand out for me was that "You are only as strong as the people around you." This short statement could epitomise how I have felt about all of my treatment so far. I would not be anywhere near as healthy, happy and strong as I am today without the vast support from my friends, family and school. I know that many people aren't as lucky as I am and I've met people who have had to go through some ghastly experiences without the backing that I have had. However, this has only made me more thankful to everyone that does wish me well and it has made me determined to help those who need it.

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