In a series of candid videos, four twenty-somethings reveal how their diagnosis changed their lives. Our fab four discuss everything from Facebook detoxes, to sex on chemo, to the restorative properties of ginger nuts...
We reached out to young adults with blood cancer and asked what they thought people their age need to know when they’re diagnosed. Four of them agreed to go on the record and give others the benefit of their knowledge and experience.
The four were all diagnosed between the ages of 17 and 23. They appear on video individually and in group discussions which are sometimes raw, sometimes funny, but always brutally honest. At first a little nervous on the day of filming, all four became incredibly comfortable on camera and developed a strong rapport – they’d even started their own WhatsApp group by the end of the day.
Meet our contributors
Emily works as a maths teacher in Essex. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma at 21 and is now in remission. Emily’s most treasured possessions are the trophy she won with her netball team and her teacher training certificate, which she worked very hard to get after finishing her treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Hinna lives and works in Manchester as an HR expert. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at 23 and treated with chemotherapy. Now in remission, she’s rediscovering her love of cooking (and eating) but will never eat another ginger nut. She’s also caught the travel bug and is planning a trip to South East Asia.
Jamie is studying to be a doctor. He was forced to take an unplanned gap year when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) at the age of 17. He spent 15 weeks in hospital having a stem cell transplant which he calls “the best work experience ever”. He’s a big fan of glitter and loves listening to podcasts.
Leanne was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) at 23. CML is incurable but treatable and Leanne takes daily pills called TKIs to control it. It’s not stopping her though – she recently got engaged and started a new job in the NHS. She collects uplifting song lyrics and loves all things Disney.