Meet James, diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, aged 19

Meet James, diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, aged 19

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 chemotherapy is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. 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, rather than someone who was embarrassed and may not check regularly. However, that changed after one cycle of chemotherapy.

I completed my treatment and thankfully passed my exams, but I really struggled to forget the traumatic experiences I endured in hospital.

During my treatment I felt completely isolated as the only young person in the ward and I felt that everyone was staring at me, surprised to see somebody so young.

After treatment my Mum heard about Teens Unite and signed me up. 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. Meeting other young people who have been through similar experiences and offering each other support was what I needed. I've built so many memories and friendships whilst participating in amazing activities, which really has been brilliant.

Teens Unite even surprised me with the gift of a bike. It has really helped me to get back to full fitness, which took a lot longer than I thought. This then inspired me to take on a challenge like never before. In November 2019, I completed the Taj Mahal cycle with Teens Unite to push my limits and raise vital funds for the charity. I had an amazing time in India and met an incredible group of people who were all fundraising for Teens Unite. We had an incredible time learning about the local culture and helping the local people. 

I am looking forward to another challenge in the future! 

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