Olivia’s Story

me on bike (2)

I am 22 years old now but was 18 when I was diagnosed with a form of Leukaemia called MDS (Myelodysplastic syndrome), which briefly summarised is: your bone marrow not making enough healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and/or platelets. Instead, it makes abnormal cells that are not fully developed. This was in late 2010. I was treated for it in late June/early July of 2011 in which I received a weeks worth of intense chemo and radiotherapy as well as other immunosuppression treatment to condition my body before the main treatment which was a bone marrow transplant, given by an anonymous donor.

It’s been over three years since my transplant and everything generally has gone as hoped and expected. My immune system has built up, my blood counts are improving and I go for routine check ups every four months now at the UCL Cancer Centre to monitor the progress. Despite numerous setbacks as a consequence of treatment and low immunity, overall I made a rapid recovery.

Teens Unite have given me memories which are utterly irreplaceable and wonderful.

I have met the kindest, funniest and most inspirational people in all the events I’ve attended and it has been so comforting being surrounded by young people my age who have experienced similar things to me yet stay so positive and always smiling. Two years ago, I genuinely couldn’t envision any sort of happiness or sense of normality in my life beyond my illness but ever since I first met the Teens Unite team at the Pamper Day at Paul’s House in London, they have been so supportive and encouraging and I thank them with all my heart. This year, I went to the TU Chamonix trip with eight other teens and that was truly an unforgettable experience. I surprised myself with the activities we did like the cycling and the abseiling! Turns out I’m fitter than I thought and I have definitely overcome my worst fear: heights!

Thank you to all the staff who have organised all the events, you are amazing and you allow young people who are experiencing or who have gone through cancer to meet others who can relate to them and form friendships for life.

Love you all and thank you for everything!