My name is Amy, on the 28 January 2009 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
The first two months of my treatment was a very full on period of time; I was having chemotherapy injected into the bottom of my spine once a week, along with steroids and other chemotherapy drugs. Everything seemed to be going as well as it could, apart from waking up and seeing that a lot of my hair had covered my pillow.
On March 30 2009, I woke up and was paralysed down my left hand side; I’d had a stroke-like allergic reaction to the chemotherapy. By the evening my condition had deteriorated so rapidly that I had become quadriplegic and unable to speak. The crash team were called and I was put into an induced coma. I was the eighth person in the world to have such a severe reaction. I then stayed at hospital for the next four months.
After a long period of rehabilitation including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, I am now walking and talking again. I still use my wheelchair when I go anywhere that’s far and is likely to be quite busy. Unfortunately, my speech and my left arm and hand still have a way to go but I’m working on this – although I’ve not been promised that everything will be back to how it was before.
Being part of Teens Unite means I get to meet other teens aged 13 to 24 that have been or are going through the same cancer journey as I am. Listening to each other’s stories is amazing even though they can be emotional, but to me they’re all so inspirational.
I’ve been to so many workshops and days out with Teens Unite and the charity has really helped me to find my self-confidence and taught me that no matter what I’ve been through and how I am, I’m still the same as everyone else.
I just want to say a massive thank you to Teens Unite for being there for me, from the very start! I really don’t know how I would have coped without the extra help and support of Teens Unite.
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