Hi, my name is Michelle and I am a childhood cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 1982 at the age of two and treated at the Birmingham Children's hospital. Being so young my parents could probably write a better account of it all than me but I'll try to give you an insight into what I remember.
My earliest memories are in hospital, which is where I spent most of my time between the ages of 2 and 5yrs. I remember Dr Hill and some lovely nurses who I've since forgotten the names of, and a few patients who were treated at the same time as me but who sadly didn't make it. I remember some lovely ladies who made me teddy bears, that I still own to this day (and I think they had to go into quarantine at one point), the plastic wiggly snakes I was given by nurses for being good when I had my blood tests and I remember swinging back and forth on the hospital's hobby horse. I also have very vivid memories of the pilgrimages my parents took me on in Lourdes France, when they were at the end of their tether and looking for a miracle, maybe: collecting pinecones in the woods, being bathed in holy water and a lovely man playing the guitar and serenading me with the well known Beatles song Michelle My Belle. And when my hair fell out (what little I had at this age), I just wore a pair of red tights on my head, obviously!
I'm 34 now and have a BA Honours Fine Art degree under my belt and in my first year at University I met my lovely boyfriend, now husband of 5 years. I have also been a volunteer with the Leicester & Rutland branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research for over 4 years now with whom I've helped to raise money doing art exhibitions and craft stalls and in which my husband has supported me in any way possible. Our branch has raised over £650,000 since it began and the people I have met along the way are fantastic.
I feel lucky every day and I am so glad that I'm giving something back to LLR, a fabulous charity that I'm sure I wouldn't be here without.