The impact of cancer can be lifechanging; physically and emotionally. Whilst 84% of young people are now surviving their cancer diagnosis for at least five years; often they are living a different life to the one they imagined or hoped for. Goals and aspirations may change following treatment and recovery, but this can lead you down a different path that uncovers new hopes and dreams, which you didn’t even know existed.
George, a young person supported by Teens Unite, speaks to us about his experience and how sometimes it’s important to focus on the short-term goals, rather than the big, long-term achievements, and that it’s ok to take things one day at a time. The little steps are just as important as the big ones.
“When I was asked to write this piece for Teens Unite, I spent some time reflecting on how my aspirations have changed over the past three-or-so years since my cancer diagnosis.
My earliest aspiration was to become a priest, or an astronaut. But, as I became a student of the sciences, I eventually set my goal as becoming a nuclear physicist.
I was later able to put my love for technology and the sciences to use when I started my dream role as a business analyst; an achievement I made just a mere eight months before being diagnosed with Stage 2B Ewing’s Sarcoma.
When you’re facing cancer, you’re dreams shift from idealistic to purely practical. Most often, the dream was to make it through the day with the minimal level of discomfort and pain. The only long-term goal was to survive the foreseeable months. Anything beyond this felt naïve.
In the end, I defied myself and my pessimistic outlook. Through documenting and publishing my experiences by writing a book, I was able to generate a modest, yet tangible level of awareness surrounding my condition, which I hope will benefit people affected in the future.
These days, two years beyond remission, many of my goals are forced to remain practical; making it through each regular check-up without relapse. There is however, a hopeful return of the greater ambition previously lost. Namely, continuing to write, to further my career as a consultant, and enjoy the home I own with my fiancée.”
If you’re aged 13-24, we’ll support you in achieving your goals and aspirations in life, whatever they may be. Whether it’s finding new friends, rebuilding your confidence, trying new experiences, or starting a new career- we’ll be with you every step of the way.
You can register with us here and if you would like to know more about how we can help you to learn new skills or explore a new career, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.