Meet Rian, diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, aged 14

Meet Rian, diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, aged 14

Without boring you with the nitty gritty of my diagnosis, before cancer I was fine; relatively well most of the time and cruising through life. Until the inevitable start of this story – July 2014 is when I began to feel unwell. I pushed it to the side and ignored it – fast forward a dramatic eight weeks later and I found myself in A&E with an infection in my left leg that had turned septic. I was unable to walk and before I knew it, I had gone from being a ‘normal’ 14-year-old, to the ‘kid with cancer’. 

Six months of chemotherapy followed, mixed with two operations to save my leg, and life, as the doctors battled with the threat of blood poisoning being a bigger opponent to the beating of my heart than cancer was. I’m proud to say, I was then discharged and in remission after that period. I resumed my life, not quite in the same way, but tried to get back ‘on with it’ in the best way I could. A year or so went by relatively smoothly, I got back to school, caught up with my GCSE and went abroad a couple of times. That was until the following Christmas. 

Nose bleeds were the first thing I noticed. Subconsciously, I knew what was happening, though instead of doing what I should have done, and tell someone, I hid it in the hope that it would ‘go away on its own’. Of course, it didn’t. I ignored the symptoms for three months, then wandered back into hospital after breaking down to my mum one morning. Her reassuring words of ‘you’re probably fine’ were just masks to what we all knew was happening. As the consultant sat down that afternoon to deliver the results – I stopped him before he spoke and said, ‘I know’. I’d known for some time that my cancer was back and stupidly – told no one. A stem cell transplant became my only hope. An important four-letter word in the world of cancer that – HOPE. I was very lucky to receive one on 1st July that year – you can check out my social media for the story on that – shameless plug (@thelcard_rh - insta). 

But what happened next? Once the treatment comes to an end, we are discharged and told to get back on the constantly moving train of life and restart where we left off. But we don’t know how. Many think we should ‘get on with it’ and more think that now we are in remission everything is better now. I’d be a millionaire if I was given a pound for every time someone thought that. 

Life after cancer hasn’t been easy – battling with post cancer depression, struggling to get going again, frustration at my body for its inability to bounce back and not being able to do the things I did before cancer.  Then I would feel angry at myself thinking that way, and guilty for being here when others haven’t had that privilege. I let this toxic mindset plague my life for five long years. 

For me, the best thing I did was start talking, and that’s the best advice I can give to others. Even if it’s to yourself. Get it out of your head and into the world around you. Teens Unite come in here with their online events – or when COVID allows- in person events. Cancer patients get one another, that is for certain, and it’s liberating to speak to other people who get you, who have been through what you have and understand you on a personal level, without having to really go into too much detail as to why or how.  

After cancer, you know better than anyone that life is for living and we get one chance to do so. You can’t change the past, but you can use it to shape the future. 

Insta - @thelcard_rh 
Facebook – The L Card
Twitter - @TheLCardRH

Teen Stories

Upcoming Events

Detailed below are our events for Teens, Volunteers, Fundraising and Challenges.


Keep up to date


By providing your email address, you'll be kept up to date with our latest news and events. You can opt out at any time, simply email