Life after cancer treatment is many things. It can be overwhelming, scary, exciting, empowering, frustrating, challenging. Pick an emotion and you'll likely feel it at some point. This April, we're shining a light on the challenges faced by young people diagnosed with cancer as we mark Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month.

Reaching the end of active cancer treatment is a huge milestone for many. But it's not always straight sailing. Along with 22 other charities, we're acknowledging the multiplicity of emotions and experiences faced by those diagnosed with cancer at a young age. What happens next? We've got painful niggles that can send us spiralling, we feel like we've just fallen from a tree and hit every branch on the way down, but we should be fine now right?! Not always.

Meet Af

Af was diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 29. Fresh off the back of working at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and living next to the iconic Copacabana beach in Brazil, Af was planning on travelling the Americas when life showed him it had other plans. Following a visit to a hospital in Rio to get antibiotics he thought would treat an infection, Af was told he had cancer. Rather than taking a flight to Argentina as planned, he flew home and began treatment.

Throughout his treatment, Af shared his story on social media, culminating in the writing of his book Tumorous Hesticles: Just say Cancer’. Now, he's working with Trekstock to help us help others unlock their voice and share their story. 

Af said "I took quite the public approach to sharing my journey back in 2016. Since then, I've written a book about it, done stand up and public speaking events as well. On 20th April, Trekstock and I will be hosting an 'Unlock Your Voice and Share Your Story' day in London and we will explore how to create your own unique story and telling it in your own unique voice, whether that's just telling it amongst friends, family and colleagues or if you want to do public speaking. I really believe in the power of telling your story and the power of community." 

Time and again, we hear that people don't get what it's like to finish treatment for cancer, especially when you're in your 20s or 30s. There's an expectation that everything will be perfect and you'll uncover a new #grateful perspective. You may well be #grateful, but it's OK to be a bit p*ssed off too.

Working with Af to help people figure out how to tell their stories means more people will feel comfortable to tell their talk about their experiences and more people will be educated about the realities of cancer treatment and what happens after. 

Join us and Find Your Voice on 20th April as we mark Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month with the launch of our Find Your Voice programme and watch this space for more events to combine storytelling and community.

Find out more about TYAC month from the other charities taking part.