What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Osteosarcoma, in the upper jaw

What age were you diagnosed?


What has helped you to thrive?

I made a promise to myself four years ago that I was going to share my cancer experience in order to help and inspire others. I felt very isolated throughout my treatment, so I thought if I can be that light of inspiration and guidance for the next person who has scarring from cancer, then it would make what I do worth it.

I have set up an Instagram page called faceinosteomax dedicated to self-love, self-care and body positivity, I have taken part in the Teenage Cancer Trust body-positive  #stillme campaign, done many speeches about the awareness of facial osteosarcomas, created a play about my cancer experience with other young people called, Looking Forward with Toby Peach to finally becoming an advocate for facially different actors.

The love and support from people who have been inspired by my story have been immense. I am so grateful that my journey has motivated people to either live their dream or continue to keep going. This has helped me thrive.

Crystal's Story

In 2016 I was diagnosed with facial osteosarcoma in the top jaw. I had never heard of a person having cancer in their face, so I felt very isolated and afraid. The abscess-like bump grew from a small pea to a gigantic pear in the space of a few weeks, it was horrible.

After six rounds of chemotherapy and due to the early diagnosis, the tumour went down immensely, and I started to regain my confidence again. Unfortunately, this was short-lived when the tumour in my face started to grow back, and I had to be transferred to the UCLH hospital to start my facial reconstruction journey.

The last few years have been a blur of appointments, operations and treatment. Nothing could prepare me for the challenges I faced due to cancer but it has resulted in me becoming a strong, appreciative and generous person, and I feel grateful every single day.

 I would like to say to whoever is reading this please if you have a bump anywhere in your body get it checked out by your doctor. I know it may be scary, but be as persistent as you can until you get the right answer. It’s better to know early than too late.

READ more of Crystal's story here