Ellie's rhabdomyosarcoma story

Hi everyone! My name is Ellie. When I was 14 I was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. This is my story.

Fighting cancer Ellie

With 18 months of treatment ahead of me, I knew I wanted to give my cancer diagnosis some purpose, I especially wanted to make something good out of a bad situation. So, I started a YouTube channel, so that I could reach out to other cancer fighters and also share my cancer advice. My videos are mainly cancer advice videos, life updates and cancer vlogs. I really enjoy making them because it means I can help other people in my situation. Also, being a very sporty kid before, making videos became my new hobby and distracted me from the harsh reality of cancer. It was very therapeutic for me and gave me a sense of purpose.

Rhab-do-my-o-sar-coma – why does medical jargon have to be so complicated? I was 14 years old, still recovering from the news that I had cancer, and now I was given a diagnosis that I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone spell! Ahead of me, I faced the prospect of 9 rounds of intensive chemotherapy, possible surgery, 28 sessions of radiotherapy and 12 months of maintenance chemotherapy. I couldn’t comprehend how ill I would become or the uncertain future that lay ahead of me, but the one thing I could control was my attitude towards my journey: from day one I told myself that I WILL fight this cancer and I WILL stay positive – no concoction of drugs could override my immense self-belief and positivity. Of course, there were days that I felt like giving up, or that I felt that I was certain to die of this disease, but you get through it and you stay strong.

Currently, I am 16 months in remission and I am living life to the full! I still get 3-monthly scans and regular consultations with my doctors, but I am beginning to feel normality settle into my life again. In September, I will begin studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A-level, and my biggest achievement so far is certainly being the Founder of TeensVsCancer.

October 2019

Update: November 2021

I am now 20 years old and just over 4 years out of treatment – whoop whoop! Remission hasn’t been an easy ride. Navigating ‘normal’ life whilst carrying the massive baggage from cancer was very difficult at first. I still experience fatigue, chronic pain and menopause issues, but as the years have gone by, I have learned how to better deal with them. Now, I am embracing the issues I face rather than constantly fighting against them. In September, I began studying Medicine at University, in my pursuit to become a doctor! I am excited to celebrate 5 years in remission next year and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

 

Happy Ellie

What is it like to be a childhood cancer patient?

“I’ve been through it and now I want to inform you guys and give you a bit of advice about what to expect. Today’s video is about cancer diagnosis.

 

“I hope this video helps you and informs you about what to expect and what it’s like”.

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My first chemo at 14!

“If you have cancer already I am someone you can relate to because I know how isolating cancer can feel.

“Make sure to stay to the end of the video where I share my top tips for how to cope with chemotherapy”.

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Going to school

In this video, Ellie talks about returning to school after treatment. Ellie gives different tips for making new friends, chemo-brain, fatigue and workload.

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Being in remission

“It’s okay to feel sad in remission”. Watch Ellie’s vlog to hear her hints and tips for staying afloat during her first year in remission.

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Coronavirus as a childhood cancer survivor

As a childhood cancer survivor, what are Ellie’s thoughts to the current coronavirus outbreak and lockdown?

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How you can help

If you’ve been touched by Ellie’s journey, help us invest in the high quality research that really matters which would otherwise go unfunded.

This helps to support children with cancer so they can be with their families for longer.

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