Inspirational people who have made a difference
Here you can read some of the stories of cancer survivors who are working with us.
If you feel inspired and would like to share your story, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Emma was diagnosed with breast cancer just six months after the birth of her triplets. She had chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiotherapy and continues to take tamoxifen. (A drug shaped by us which has saved the lives of thousands of women).
As a single parent looking after four children it has been a hugely challenging couple of years for Emma but she is now feeling much more optimistic about the future and has even started writing about her experiences. Rather than focusing on cancer now, she can focus on being a mum and spending precious time with her children.
Emma has appeared in several high profile magazines and been interviewed on TV for the charity. She has also given up her time to talk at staff welcome days and has appeared in various publicity materials including the new ‘Share Your Story’ posters.
Emma says “I have really enjoyed working with the patient liaison team. It's felt so good to be able to help in some small way. I have loved spending my time doing something so meaningful. I’m determined that something positive can come out of my cancer experience”
Neve was diagnosed with leukaemia on Christmas Day in 2007 at the tender age of two. She had chemotherapy over several years and was in and out of intensive care with repeated infections. After relapsing she had further chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Since then the news has been very positive. She is in remission and doing really well. Neve is now back at school and enjoying every minute of it!
Neve has featured on the front cover of our annual report and appeared in her local paper alongside her mum and dad. She has also featured on our Little Stars posters and website.
Neve says “It has been so much fun being in photo shoots to help Cancer Research UK. Everybody has been so nice. Cancer can affect anyone, even children, so please help if you can.”
Steve noticed pain around his chest and was sent for a mammogram and then a needle biopsy. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. He underwent a full mastectomy which left a ten inch scar across his chest and although he has now made a full recovery, he continues to take tamoxifen and attends a specialist male breast cancer clinic every six months.
Steve now makes the most of the great outdoors and spending time with his family and has even been filmed for a documentary on his illness. Steve appeared in our Christmas Catalogue and has been involved in a number of corporate speaking events and Lab Tours.
Steve says “After benefiting from the research of Cancer Research UK over the years, I really just wanted to do something myself and give something back…This has been just the ticket.”
William was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in 2010 and found himself fighting for his life in intensive care. He had an unusual complication that can occur with this type of lymphoma that made him really ill and it was touch and go for a while. But his condition stabilised and after four days he was able to start intensive chemotherapy. Through it all William never lost his smile or his strength and has remained unfazed by everything. To his parents’ joy, he is now happy and healthy again.
William and his family have spoken to newspapers and appeared in photo shoots to help raise awareness of the work of Cancer Research UK. They have also be featured in social media and William recently designed a card for one of our corporate partners.
William says “It’s nice to know that my story might help other people. The more people who can support Cancer Research UK the better. I’ve really enjoyed the things I’ve done…”
Sharon had been a manager of one of our shops for 13 years when she was diagnosed with womb cancer. She had surgery and was treated with radiotherapy and brachytherapy. Thankfully she now remains cancer-free and has returned to work in the same shop and continues her support for the charity.
Sharon has appeared on national TV news to share her story and has been involved in various print media requests from our Press and PR Teams.
Sharon says “Getting involved by sharing my story allowed me to empower myself and regain some of the control I felt I had lost when I was ill. If I can raise awareness of how important research is that is great.”
Carena, 17, was diagnosed with leukaemia in July 2006. She spent four months at Great Ormond St Hospital receiving intensive chemotherapy which left her very weak. She lost her long curly hair, but kept her spirit and sense of humour. The following year the leukaemia came back, but this time she also needed radiotherapy and a bone marrow transplant and spent six months in hospital.
Carena is now in remission and is currently studying hair and beauty therapy. She hopes to realise her dream of becoming a beautician one day. You might have seen Carena in some of our marketing materials or on posters in our Cancer Research UK shops.
Carena says “I wanted to help educate people about cancer. When I lost my hair lots of people didn’t understand. The more awareness we can create together, the more money we can raise and the more cures we can find to beat this. You won’t regret getting involved.”