Activity Stay: Crystal's Blog

31 August 2019
  • Teens

Activity Stay: Crystal's Blog

My name is Crystal, I'm 21, and I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my upper jaw. 

I unfortunately didn't get to complete my 3 year acting course due to being to weak to attend lessons. This left me feeling really distraught because I loved going into college and I enjoyed every second of it! I will always feel sad about not finishing becsuse it was my final year - but life moves on. 

I was very distraught throughout all of my treatment, but it got worse when they took out the tumor and left me with a visable facial difference. It made me hide within myself and it got so bad that I didn't want to leave the house, leave my room or wear anything that drew attention to myself. It was really hard. 

Luckily two years on I've gotten a lot better and I'm grateful to still be alive. I'm grateful that the surgons were able to take out all the tumor and that I can see out of my right eye and my sense of smell is all fine.

I went to the Teens Unite annual Christmas party, after some members of staff told me about it at the pamper day, and I met this amazing and kind person called Mikhaila. She sat me down and told me all about how amazing the Activity Stays were and the many great friends she met! 

Her enthusiasm ultimately made me want to sign up for the next Activity Stay which was why I applied straight away. 

I really enjoyed the Activity Stay! I felt accepted, appreciated and it was the first time I felt like I didn't have to explain to people about what happened to my face. 

I already knew beforehand that this was going to be an amazing experience by talking to Debbie and Mikhaila, but until I was experiencing it myself I didn't realise just how great it would be! 

I had a feeling that it would be a fun and supportive environment and it 100% was - I just didn't expect I was going to be accepted so easily and that people would find it so easy to talk to me.

I loved when we went out in the water at Herts Young Mariners Base, and when we did the rock climbing, because even though I am afraid of the water and a bit of heights, I was able to get out on the water and get to the top of the rock climbing hill and achieve something I didn't think I would do so easily. 

I believe that through doing this I achieved strength, confidence, resilience and determination. 

I would recommend the Activity Stay, for anyone who feels like they have people around them that don't understand what they are going through - or they find that they really want to get out of that depressive state and become whole again.

This is the place for you, because it not only pushes you to the limit to show you what you can achieve, but with the combination of staff, volunteers and young people, you find that you are never alone and you always have someone to talk to. 

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