Meet Jeremy, 17, Hodgkins Lymphoma

Meet Jeremy, 17, Hodgkins Lymphoma

On February 27th when I was 17 years old and in the middle of my mock A Level exams I was told those three words than no one wants to hear, that no one imagines they’re going to hear… “you have cancer”. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is an aggressive type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. But that’s life, you need to take everything in your stride. So I started my 4 month course of chemotherapy.

Having cancer was the best thing that's happened to me.

I went through some incredibly dark periods of chemotherapy and when you stare death in the face you truly realise what a blessing life is, and how lucky we are to be here. Having cancer gave me a whole new outlook on life that I’m incredibly lucky to have now as an 18 year old.

I learned that life will throw things at you, and it’s your choice to decide how they’re going to affect you; you can either let the negativity swallow you up and feel sorry for yourself, or you can look at the negative situation and think - how can I make this experience worth while? Ask yourself, are you going to wallow in self pity when things go wrong, or are you going to squeeze out every ounce of positivity from a seemingly negative experience and make it worthwhile.

I just wanted to share a few positives that I took from my seemingly negative experience with cancer.

I got so much closer with my friends and family who could make me laugh when I didn’t even want to smile.

I got to go spend a week rock climbing, singing deafening karaoke and doing tai-chi thanks to Teens Unite.

I had to take a year out to recover from treatment, and in this year I’m working my dream gap year job at Apple.

I got to go to New York to speak at the United Nations thanks to Starlight.

My mum once said to me “never forget the journey”, because it was my cancer journey that has made me into the person I am today, it was my cancer journey that has led me up to this very moment .... And I am grateful for it.

We’ve set ourselves some incredibly tough goals to work towards; we want to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. There is going to be a lot that goes wrong, and a lot that gets in the way of achieving these goals - but that’s okay, it’s not an excuse to give up or to say the goals is unachievable, it’s all the more reason to persevere. We need to make sure that we don’t label any stumbling blocks as set backs against reaching our goals, but instead as learning experiences to help us better achieve them. There will be things that get in our way for seemingly no reason at all, but what we need to remember is not everything happens for a reason, but we can give reason to everything that happens.

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