Meet Esther, diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, aged 16

Meet Esther, diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, aged 16

Hi I’m Esther. I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma when I was three years old and my tumour returned when I was 16.

I always loved ballet, going for nature walks with my family and playing football in the field outside our house. I was just like any three-year-old kid and loved playing with my younger sister, Erica.

I was so young when I was first diagnosed that my early memories are of making crafts and playing in the hospital playroom as well as having scans, feeling sick and having friends and family visit to try and cheer me up.

Hospitals and doctors were very familiar to me and although I didn’t understand everything about my diagnosis, I knew that I was poorly. I had an operation to remove the tumour and chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

For 10 years I lived a cancer free life, only for the tumour to return when I was 16. This meant more surgery, followed by proton beam therapy.
Two years later, another tumour was found, and I started a third set of treatment.

At times, the treatment makes you feel worse than the actual cancer itself and for me, the side effects were life changing.

Growing up, I had scoliosis (curvature of the spine), because of the radiotherapy. Then, at the age of 19, I became paralysed from the waist down. Again, this was a result of the radiotherapy needed to treat a tumour near my spine.

One day I was at the Macmillan Centre, and I saw a Teens Unite leaflet showing the different activities they organised. I decided to go along and try one. I went to a ‘Meet and Make’ day, where we made photo frames and I really enjoyed it.

Since then I’ve been to see the Lion King, Clip and Climb and I went to the summer Activity Stay, which was really fun! I’ve also been joining in with some of the digital activities too during COVID-19 -  yoga, a music night and meditation.

Teens Unite is a great way to meet other people going through the same challenges as you. At the Activity Stay I made so many new friends and it’s nice to hang out with people who just get it. You don’t have to explain anything or feel like the odd one out. 

At the moment, I’m at University studying French and Spanish and I hope to finish my course and one day build a good career, knowing that I’ve got Teens Unite to support me along the way.

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