Amongst the chaos of life right now let's not forget that there's still positive news out there, we may just need to look a little bit harder. So this is your public service announcement to remember Mother's Day is a week today!
Last Sunday we launched our Mother's Day campaign, intended to give you an alternative gift for any mum, that will make a positive difference right now to the lives of young people fighting cancer. Today we'd like to introduce you to one incredible woman, turning her own experiences into a positive for others:
"Hello! My name’s Anikka. I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer in my early 30s. I had 2 years of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapy and multiple surgeries. My mum died of breast cancer when I was young, so I was naturally terrified of the cancer diagnosis itself and whether I would survive. I was also devastated to find out that if I did survive that the treatment could leave me infertile. As the cancer was quite advanced I had to start chemotherapy immediately, so I didn’t have any time to preserve my fertility. Following my treatment I had tests and was told that the aggressive treatment I had been through had definitely left me infertile. I was heartbroken.
I threw myself into using my experience to help others and set up a site offering gifts for cancer patients with products that are safe to use during treatment and gifts that are welcome in hospitals. Following my diagnosis I was overwhelmed with flowers and gifts I was unable to use due to the ingredients. Many people still aren’t aware that flowers are banned on most hospital wards and friends later said they wanted to send a little something to show they care, but hadn’t known what. So, in 2013 Not Another Bunch Of Flowers was born. I feel so privileged that I can use my experience to offer advice, comfort and hope to others on a daily basis. I have also used the business to raise over £25,000 for various cancer charities.
In 2016 I had some issues caused by my ongoing treatment and saw another specialist who decided to run the fertility tests again. And I was overjoyed to discover that the previous doctor was wrong and that there was a chance that I could have children! With my oncologist’s blessing it was agreed I could take a break from my treatment and in 2017 I had a healthy baby boy called Monty.
Becoming a mum coupled with Not Another Bunch Of Flowers growing and developing into a business that has exceeded my initial expectations, I feel truly blessed. I am proud to say I am mum, a working mother and a small business owner, who is currently in the land of "NED" (No Evidence of Disease). Long may that continue!
Mother’s Day had always been such a sad reminder of the loss of my mother and then became a reminder that I would never become a mum. But now I can embrace it and keep quietly hopeful for a lie in and breakfast in bed with my little boy."
Teens Unite provide support from diagnosis, during treatment and beyond to help young people fighting cancer to live their best life.
Take a petal out of Anikka's example and donate today on behalf of your mum and give the gift of support this #MothersDay. Text TEENS plus your donation amount to 70085 or you can also donate online now.
Thank you x
Detailed below are our events for Teens, Volunteers, Fundraising and Challenges.
Volunteering with Teens Unite has changed my personality and outlook on life. When I hear all the amazing things the teens say about Teens Unite, I can tell they mean every word.
Teens Unite isn't just a charity to me, it was the beginning of restarting my life.
When Elliot started receiving the support of Teens Unite, I could see a change in him straightaway. His outlook on life was becoming positive again and I gained strength from seeing my little boy accepting what had happened and starting to move forward.
I needed help and that's where Teens Unite came in. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the reason I met Teens Unite was to save my life.
With Teens Unite, I finally realised that I could climb out of this massive hole that I had been digging because I wasn't alone anymore.
If it wasn't for Teens Unite, I wouldn't be where I am now. They have been really supportive and given me the strength to push myself and not give up.