Young Adult Ambassadors Ellen Ellen was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) at the age of 9 and relapsed at 12. "The long term effects of cancer can be devastating and although I am years post my diagnosis, I am still living with the effects of having cancer and it’s treatment, daily. The reality of how my life has changed and the fact that I’m on a completely different path to where I was before my diagnosis is heartbreaking, and it has definitely taken time to come to terms with. There’s a huge emphasis that once treatment finishes your life returns to “normal”. For many of us, this isn’t the case and it can be tough having to adapt to a new way of life. I am so excited to raise awareness with Trekstock, to support other young adults who like me are finding this new way of life a challenge." Read more about Ellen's experience here. Carly Carly was 35 when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and has been a Champion of Trekstock for years and has done some amazing fundraising for us too. "I’m not sure how I discovered Trekstock, but it was pretty early after surgery and during the time I was having chemotherapy. For me, it provided an opportunity to connect with other people my age going through similar experiences which helped me to feel I wasn’t alone as most of the other patients I encountered were a lot older. The charity provided me access to resources that I could tap into whenever I felt the need or had the energy such as the Headspace app, online talks, and dietary advice." Natalie Natalie was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2012, at the age of 25. She has been a part of Trekstock for many years and her and her husband have done some incredibly fundraising for us over the years too. "After the initial whirlwind of my diagnosis and treatment, I had an overwhelming feeling of isolation. I wasn’t back at work yet, and none of my friends or family could truly understand how I was feeling, or how to talk to me about it. Finding Trekstock was like finding a beacon of light in the darkness! I instantly felt less alone and became part of a network of amazing people, all a similar age to me, and all wanting to find that sense of community and support that I was missing. Trekstock really helped me to find my feet and move forward, and I’m really excited for the opportunity to help create that opportunity for other young cancer survivors." Read more about Natalie's experience here. Jolene Jolene was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 18 then relapsed at 23 with Stage 4 melanoma. She has been a part of Trekstock for many years and has ran, climbed and walked for Trekstock and attended many of our events. "I feel honoured to be asked by the Trekstock team to become a Young Adult Ambassador. The charity has become a huge part of my cancer journey over the last three years and it feels great to be doing something help give back. I began fundraising and raising awareness of Trekstock a couple of years ago, including Conquer The Tower (2017), The British 10k (2018), Lake District 5 Peak Challenge (2018) and The Big Urban 10 Mile Trek (2019) and hope to continue raising funds and awareness to help Young Adults like me." Read more about Jolene's experience with Stage 4 cancer here. Joe Fernandez Joe Fernandez is 36 and a survivor of testicular cancer. In 2018, he was diagnosed with Stage 2 testicular cancer and experienced 3 cycles of carboplatin chemo and an orchidectomy to remove one testicle. True to his profession – a former journalist turned PR manager, Joe is keen to raise awareness of cancer and has penned blogs for many communities, detailing his journey & the challenges for thriving thereafter. "It's great to be able to share experiences and have frank discussions with other young people who have been through what you have. Often it's the best motivation and inspiration different from your elders and nearest & dearest. I look forward to helping Trekstockers on their journey as one of the Young Adult Ambassadors 2021. Fingers crossed for plenty of face-to-face adventures in a new era!" Read more about Joe's experience here. Carolina Carolina was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at 30. After finishing her treatment, at the end of 2018. She struggled with fatigue and wanted to regain the strength she'd lost during treatment. She has since completed our Renew exercise programme and attended many of our events including Meet & Move. "My life was put on hold until I finished treatment and found Trekstock's Community. Trekstock has massively helped me to get out of my cancer shell and get back to normality through exercise, knowledge, support, and by giving me access to a great community. During the first lockdown, I took part in the RENEW exercise programme, a 6-week coaching programme, and joined online meet-ups. All these activities were fundamental to keeping my mental health in check, and for that, I am eternally grateful to Trekstock and its incredible community. I have participated in literally every event that Trekstock offers, and one thing that I can say is that I always felt welcome and encouraged to come back. I always felt like I belonged to the community and felt safe and in a protected environment. This community means everything to me as I now have a new perspective of life, and thanks to Trekstock, I can connect with others that get what I went through. I think it is essential for young adults like me to have a network of support with others in the same situation to get more understanding and confidence on overcoming the diagnosis. And in the same way, it allows me to help others that are starting their cancer journey and give them hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel." Read more about Carolina's experience here. Laura Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25 and relapsed with secondary breast cancer at 30. She has been part of Trekstock for many years. She's the co-founder of Secondary Sisters with Nicky Newman. Both wanting children and now unable to fulfil that dream, both gym nutters & both determined to live life to the absolute max! They're here to create a safe place to connect with other Secondary Sisters, to give an insight into what it's like to live with cancer for life and to share everything they know about learning to live with cancer. "I am honoured to be part of Trekstock as an ambassador as I feel this charity had a huge amount to give to those who are dealing with cancer at a young age. After being originally diagnosed with cancer at only 25, and then again with incurable cancer at 28 I found the whole experience very overwhelming and lonely but Trekstock has allowed that safe space to meet others in a similar position who get you on a different level, whilst also offering fantastic advice and fun activities to make living with a diagnosis a lot easier to deal with. Being able to help readjust their literature to be more inclusive of those living with cancer long term was an amazing moment, allowing them to reach out to more young people living with secondary cancer, and also working with us as @secondary.sisters giving us the opportunity to host events had been a fantastic platform to reach more people, in turn helping many feel they are supported and looked after." Lauren Lauren was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31 and has been fundraising for Trekstock for many years through her incredible enterprise GirlvsCancer "Trekstock were a lifeline to me from the point of diagnosis and being able to give back to this incredible charity via Ambassadorship is such an honour! I hope to support young adults on the mental health struggles and often crisis of identity that a cancer diagnosis can encourage - whether it's relationships, work or lifestyle." Read more about Lauren's amazing GirlvsCancer here. Emma Emma was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 24 years old. She has helped spread the word about Trekstock far and wide and attended many events too. "Facing cancer in your twenties is terrifying and isolating, which is why finding other young people was so important to me. Trekstock was a key part in helping me find my cancer family; a formidable support system who understand all the malignant stuff without judgement. People who have enriched my life and become my friends beyond our shared sinister cells. Coming to a Trekstock event is like coming home. I am beyond honoured to be a Trekstock Ambassador! Using this role, I will support this life-changing charity in their work to improve the lives of young adults dealing with the trauma of cancer to find their selves again and move forward." Read more about Emma's experience here. Nicky Nicky was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 30 and is the co-found of Secondary Sisters with Laura Hughes. Both wanting children and now unable to fulfill that dream, both gym nutters & both determined to live life to the absolute max! They're here to create a safe place to connect with other Secondary Sisters, to give an insight into what it's like to live with the disease and to share everything they know about learning to live with cancer. Nicky has attended events and taken part in challenges too. Toby Toby was diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 19 and relapsed at 21 and has been a part of the Trekstock community for years, attending events and taking on challenges. "I met Trekstock about 5 years ago when I was looking for a band t-shirt and was told my purchase was supporting young adults who had had cancer….WAIT...I’m a young adult who had cancer I thought. I have to speak to these people. Trekstock has been a big part of my life since then, from supporting me when I’ve needed help to give me the platform to speak to other young people like me. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting their YouTube series Trekstock Talks and Meet & Move events and can’t wait to see how we can continue to help others living with and beyond cancer." Read more about Toby's incredible pursuits here. Sarah Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33.She has been a part of Trekstock for a few years and has cycled, walked to raise funds, raised awareness and attended our events "I’m proud to be an Ambassador for Trekstock, they feel like home to me as they were one of the first charities I contacted at the start of my cancer journey. I felt they really understood and they pointed me in the right direction when I was feeling lost it helped so much to have a ‘base’ and a group of people that understood what it was like to be a young adult with cancer. Being an Ambassador for Trekstock is an opportunity for me to give back as they were a big part and still are of my journey. Trekstock really understands and gives you the opportunity to connect with so many others. Cancer taught me a lot, and one thing it did was learn to get in the kitchen and to fuel my body the best I could, I have such a great interest in nutrition and exercise." Read more about Sarah's experience here. Olivia Olivia was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 21. "I am incredibly passionate that everyone should feel confident through a cancer diagnosis, so I feel beyond proud that I can use my role as a Trekstock Ambassador to help others achieve this. The work Trekstock did to ensure I felt connected to young adults with cancer through my own treatment was irreplaceable, so I am honoured to be a part of ensuring that is the case for other people like myself." Read more about Olivia's Cancer Chicks x Trekstock partnership here. Georgie Georgie was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 26 and relapsed in 2019. She has come along to our events. shouted about us and taken on challenges along the way too. "Being diagnosed with cancer in your 20’s can be pretty daunting but feeling like you’re going it alone is much worse. Finding Trekstock has been integral for me in completing my treatment with a smile on my face. It’s thanks to Trekstock that I have had the support both mentally and physically I needed to cope and they connected me with amazing individuals who just ‘get it.’ The beauty of Trekstock is it isn’t one size fits all, there are so many different areas of support they offer and you are able to take whichever parts you need to help you feel whole again. I am honoured to be a part of raising awareness to help others feel whole again." Read more about Georgie's experience here. Alice Alice was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 26 and has over the years connected young adults living with and beyond cancer together in Southampton. “It is really great to be a Young Adult Ambassador. When I originally joined Trekstock, meeting people in the Trekstock Network helped my post-diagnosis confidence. To help in the same way, I became a Trekstock Champion where the best bits are sharing enjoyable places and activities with others. Honestly - a lot of the time cancer doesn’t even get a look in. Knowing the ongoing struggles of having or having had cancer, it is awesome to have the opportunity as an Ambassador to be involved with developing support for young adults with cancer.” Read more about Alice's experience here. Saima Saima was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer at the age of 29. Saima was an incredible person Champion of Trekstock and we were honoured to work with her to raise awareness and break down taboos and inequalities in BAME communities. "Trekstock have been extremely supportive to me, mentally and physically since my cancer diagnosis. The move and meet events have really helped me to not feel alone or isolated going through cancer as a young adult. What I love and feel passionate about is Trekstock’s personal approach to each of its participants, asking what you need to get the most out of their generous service." Sadly, Saima passed away in June 2020. Our thoughts are with her family and friends. Read more about her story here. Ben Ben lives in Manchester and was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 19. He is now over 2 years post-treatment, has attended a number of Trekstock events, and has also taken part in our online Renew exercise programme. "Since my own cancer diagnosis, treatment and journey through remission I found it difficult to find a group of people that “get it,” until I joined a Trekstock meet and move event. Once I had been to that, I realised I had found that group. Since that point, I have wanted to give back to the young adult cancer community, knowing how difficult it can be to go through something so tough at such a young age. I hope that I can use my platform as a Young Adult Ambassador to support everybody that I can during their cancer journey, and make a positive difference to them in any way possible, no matter how small.” Read more about Ben's experience here. Fran Ward Fran was diagnosed with metastatic papillary thyroid cancer at the age of 28 and has done so many challenges we have lost count. "I came across Trekstock a few years ago via Lauren Mahon at GIRLvsCANCER. My best friend personally knew Lauren and mentioned her breast cancer journey to me. Little did I know that a year or so later, I would need the help and support of Trekstock for myself as I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged 28. Since then, I've attended many events, and taken advantage of all of the amazing advice Trekstock puts out there. Knowing I was welcome in a safe and supportive space alongside other like-minded young adults made my recovery much easier to cope with. I can never thank Trekstock enough for all they've done for me!" "I'm absolutely honoured to step into the shoes of a Trekstock Young Adult Ambassador. To be a voice that guides, supports, and represents our community is a true privilege. Representation and relevance are more important than ever, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to support other young adults like me as an official part of Team Trekstock. I'd like to champion the rare cancers which are so often overlooked, and to encourage physical and mental wellbeing through fundraising and other events." Read more about Fran's experience here. Yagmur Yagmur was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 21. She attended events and is helping us raise awareness of the inequalities in cancer. I just graduated from studying Psychology, working 3 different jobs during my studies and making time for the gym every day. I was stepping up the ladder of being a young entrepreneur at 21 owning my own real estate Franchise recognised worldwide. There were no signs/symptoms shivering my spine, but I felt fatigued, lethargic and confused all the time. I lost my vision for a whole 10 minutes whilst boarding a flight from New York to London, and I thought this was because of my microphthalmia, I thought it began affecting my vision and I was going to become blind for the rest of my life. I did visit A&E but of course I was young and healthy, nothing was ever going to be wrong, right? February 2016, I was at a circumcision party swiftly dancing to the music, unknowing of what was going to happen. My eyes went blind, and I found myself in an ambulance being taken to the hospital. Diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with CNS involvement. The dreaded C-word was casually flowing out of my oncologists’ mouth and I was to deal with the things yet to come. "Trekstock played a big part in my remission life, through Trekstock I was able to talk to people who have experienced similar events as I had. I was able to talk to people who understood me, and I was given a platform to voice my own mind, especially when the people around me had NO clue of the effects of this disease. I have been part of Trekstock’s fundraising events and made lifelong memories and I am grateful to be a Young Adult Ambassador for this charity!" Read more of Yagmour's experience here.