Give the gift of community this Christmas

Since March, over 300 newly diagnosed young adults with cancer have found invaluable community support in signing up to our vital services. 

Beth is one of these young adults, diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at age 31 in August this year.

“Finding the Trekstock community, helped me to feel less isolated. Being able to connect with others out there, not only experiencing the same problems as me but navigating them, getting through them and telling cancer where to go, made me feel stronger.”

Read Beth’s story in her own words as she talks to you, our community and supporters about the experience of a breast cancer diagnosis at 31, the uncertainty of a COVID Christmas and her message of community strength. 

Beth’s Story: 

"I was a 31-year-old, full-time nurse, caring (somewhat ironically) for post-operative cancer patients. Then I became a post-operative cancer patient myself, waiting to start chemotherapy in a time of extreme uncertainty.

A year before my diagnosis, my partner and greatest love sadly lost his battle with depression and passed away suddenly. My life fell apart. I had to leave our home, my job and relocated from Bristol to move into my friends’ spare room in Surrey. With the love and support of friends and family I slowly put my life back together, finding a new nursing role and a new team that I love, and it culminated with me buying my own home just 7 months later. I thought things were looking up. Three weeks after exchanging and getting my keys on the 2nd of August 2020, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. And my life felt like it was falling apart and out of my control again. Cancer really does pick its moments.

After being diagnosed, I felt really isolated. I was always the youngest person in the waiting room, all the staff knew me and I don’t think it was for my witty personality (haha). I think it was more to do with the fact I was at least half the age of many of the other ladies there! 

Through Instagram I found the Trekstock community and started reading through other people’s stories, reading how they were absolutely bossing cancer, embracing it as a new (rubbish) part of their life but not letting it define them as a person. And I thought “yeah, this is something I can get behind and be part of."

Since the restrictions I now not only attend appointments alone, but I have to drive myself to them alone too, which can be hard, especially when appointments can be emotionally and physically draining. My family and I were concerned that my treatment would be put on hold and this has been stressful for them as they worry my cancer will get worse. I am lucky though, so far, my treatment plan has run smoothly but it is another added pressure that you could do without! I know that others have not been so lucky.  

Christmas this year for me, was always going to be a toughie. It marks a year since my partner passed away. But when you add to that having cancer during an international pandemic, it blows my mind how anyone does it but I do, you do, we do and we bloody will.

I really hope that I can see friends and family safely over Christmas and celebrate on a much smaller scale than ever before. I think Christmas is going to be bitter-sweet for everyone this year but when you have cancer and you are anxious to not become unwell, delay your treatment or end up in hospital because you expose yourself unwittingly to an almost invisible illness it really can be a bit scary.

34 young adults in their 20s and 30s are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. Please donate to help other young adults like me to feel less alone when trying to cope with a cancer diagnosis. The Trekstock community is vital and really does make a huge difference to those of us unlucky enough to be in the 34 club.  If you can spare any money this year, you will be helping to make a direct difference to other people like me. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my story."

To support young adults like Beth during these challenging times we have moved all our programmes online to ensure we are continuing to offer vital services to our community. This includes our private 24/7 support group, our transformational RENEW exercise programme led by incredible Level 4 Cancer Rehabilitation Instructors and our Lifting the Lid series of panel discussions where experts and young adults provide advice, share experiences, and answer questions on the topics that matter most to our community. 

With your support we can give more young adults the gift of community this Christmas.

Your donation will ensure Trekstock can reach and unite more young adults living with and beyond cancer, so they are supported this Christmas and beyond by others who 'just get it'.