87% of young people lose contact with their peers as a result of their cancer treatment. It's Make A Friend Day, so we'd like to introduce you to James and Kerry. By attending Teens Unite events, they've been able to form lifelong friendships with each other and so many more young people who understand exactly how they are feeling and what they are going through.
"I was 19 years old and just about to start revision for my first year exams at University when I was diagnosed with stage one Testicular Cancer. I had a meeting with the head of department and my tutor to see what could be done to help me pass my exams and unfortunately they were unable to do anything. I found dealing with the exam stress and the uncertainty of my health really challenging. I finished my final exam and went out with my friends that night to celebrate, however since my chemotherapy started the next day, I didn’t have a nice time.
Going through the chemotherapy is the hardest thing I have ever completed. I remember naively thinking that I was glad I got cancer as someone who regularly checks and wasn’t embarrassed to go to the doctors to get checked up, rather than someone who was embarrassed and may not check regularly. However, that feeling changed after one cycle of chemotherapy.
I completed my treatment and thankfully passed my exams, but I really struggled to forget the traumatic experiences that I had at Coventry Hospital. During my treatment I felt completely isolated as the only young person in the ward and I felt that everyone was starring at me out of surprise to see somebody so young.
After treatment my Mum heard about Teens Unite and signed me up, and they have changed my life. I cannot thank them enough. I can honestly say I would not be in the position I am now without the support the charity has given me. I finally feel that I have my life back on track.
Introducing me to other young people who have been through similar experiences, offering support for each other was what I needed and building good memories and friendships whilst participating in amazing activities really has been brilliant.
I first met Kerry at a percussion workshop activity. It was an excellent experience; we all had such fun and Kerry was so funny and cheerful.
It was about a month after that when I saw Kerry again at the Activity Stay and this is where our friendship really developed. Throughout every activity, he had everyone laughing and smiling. We had such an amazing time during the Activity Stay and the sports day event were Kerry and I were part of the Green Giants team together was one of my highlights.
I absolutely admire Kerry. To be as smiley, hilarious and upbeat about life whilst continuing his treatment is unbelievable. He really is an amazing friend of mine and one of my idols. He is always willing to give everything a try and doesn’t feel restricted by his treatment. I no longer feel isolated and my future really does feel bright again due to the memories I have had with Kerry and lots of other young people just like him."
Click here to meet Kerry and hear what it means to him to have a friend like James.
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.