Activity Stay: Esther's Blog

23 August 2019
  • Teens

Activity Stay: Esther's Blog

My name is Esther, I am 20 and I have Ewing's Sarcoma.

I was diagnosed when I was 3 but I always managed to carry on as normal until last year, when I became paralysed from the waist down because of radiation to a tumour near my spine.

As a result, a lot of things changed for me. I had wanted to come to the Activity Stay last year to meet others with Cancer but I couldn't walk and I was still in hospital. This year I was eager to come to the Activity Stay.

Although it has been a year since I was first paralysed and in a wheelchair, it's still hard. Coming to the Activity Stay and meeting others who know what it's like to adapt to difficult changes felt like such a relief.

We all became such good friends and were able to encourage each other to try new things whether it was Tai Chi or rock climbing.

For the first time I didn't feel self- conscious about being in a wheelchair because others had experienced similar challenges. Everyone looked out for each other and just relaxed and had fun!

I especially enjoyed the Apprentice Challenge where we had to design a t-shirt to sell on the Teens Unite website. Our team was mentored by two sisters, Sam and Stephanie Frost, who set up a women's clothing brand called Pretty Lavish.

Our team came up with the slogan "No Limits" to go on our t-shirts and its something that we came back to throughout the week because we learned that although we have difficulties, we can still achieve our goals.

We worked hard on our pitch and thought carefully about how to market our t-shirt. We decided we would launch a campaign on social media, encouraging people to share their "No Limits" stories with the hashtag, #NoLimits.

I really enjoyed developing my marketing skills and working as a team as it really helped us bond as we shared our stories. When the time came to deliver our pitch, it went smoothly and the judges seemed to enjoy it.

During the celebration diner, the winning team was announced- us! I was so excited as it was a great way to end a fantastic week!

I would definitely encourage any young person diagnosed with cancer to go to the Activity Stay!

The Activity Stay is a safe space to try new things with others who know what it's like to be living with Cancer. Everyone's so open; there are no awkward questions because everyone just gets it.

We all agreed to keep in touch and we have a WhatsApp group chat. I can't wait for the Reunion Stay next year!

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