What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

What age were you diagnosed?


What has helped you to thrive?

Family and friends have definitely helped me thrive with never-ending and extensive love and support. Education has also been an extremely large part of helping me thrive. As even during the midst of treatment I was able to throw myself into work, enabling me to pass my GCSE'S, A levels and work finally into my last year of University. I also regularly exercise, do yoga and meditate to try and relieve stress.

Hannah's Story

Hey! My name is Hannah and I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when I was 13. I was diagnosed after my doctor sent me to get a blood test after thinking that I had anaemia or glandular fever, while my mum simply believed that I was going through puberty. Unlike many others I know, I only had one symptom which was extreme fatigue. This meant that as soon as I came home from school I would have to sleep.

When my local hospital told me I had Leukaemia, I had no idea what it was, let alone a type of cancer. The day after I was diagnosed, I was taken to UCLH where I began a month of inpatient chemotherapy. After my month, I was allowed home and I could start to prepare for Christmas. However, on the 4th of December, I collapsed in my bathroom, hitting my head and began to have epileptic fits due to blood clots on my brain. I was rushed into hospital and was put into a medically induced coma, where my parents were told I had suffered a bleed on my brain and had numerous blood clots all around my body. Due to these blood clots, my right side of my body swelled up to a size 22 while the left side of my body stayed a size 12. Thanks to the blood clots, I had to stay in hospital and had Christmas on the ward, a very different but enjoyable Christmas to the one I was used to. But I had to learn to walk again and was so frustrated I could only walk a few steps at the start, while also being injected with blood thinners every 12 hours.

My other side effects included steroid-induced diabetes and hair loss which was extremely hard to deal with. Even now 5 years in remission I am dealing with late effects. These include extreme fatigue, hypothyroidism and really bad joint paint. Due to my aggressive treatment, I also have to deal with Anxiety, Depression and PTSD. Cancer has taught me resilience, strength and patience. Although I would have never asked or wanted to go through what I have, and I doubt anyone in their right mind would, I am very proud of the person I have become because of cancer.