Below she shares her journey and everything she has learnt along the way about resilience, success, and acceptance.
I'd like to go all the way back to when I was 13 years old and first diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I was treated with seven months of intensive chemotherapy and received surgery to replace my femur and knee joint.
Like many bone cancer patients, I faced the insurmountable task of going back to school, which for me was fitting into an all-girls school with no shared memories, no hair, and seemingly ever-changing friendship groups.
But I powered through. My hair got longer, and I was eventually able to walk unaided, and I somehow managed to catch-up on all the school work I had missed. My GCSE grades opened doors for me and made me think – I had so much admiration for the doctors that treated me, why not apply to become a doctor?
I had seen so much of what the job can offer from my hospital bed, why not apply and see if I can do it?
Of course, it wasn't quite as easy as that, but with a lot of work, a leap of faith and a heap of luck, I made it into medical school. My first year at university was a blast. I was the most able-bodied that I had ever been, and I was having so much fun. Everything I had worked so hard to achieve had come to fruition, and I felt like I had finally achieved the end goal.
Unfortunately, lightening struck twice and, seven years after my initial diagnosis, the cancer came back in my leg. I had to undergo four to five more months of a different and equally as difficult chemotherapy regime, and I became an above-the-knee amputee at 19 years old.
My life took about five steps backwards – I went from living independently in halls, studying, and going on nights out with my friends to relying on my parents for absolutely everything.
I hardly had the energy to sit up back then, let alone learn to use a prosthetic leg.
I made the decision early on that I would try and complete the academic year at the same time as everybody else – I missed my friends and my old life, and so I desperately wanted things to return to 'normal'.
Cancer in early adulthood with more responsibilities and more independence to lose was a whole other kettle of fish. That period of my life was probably the hardest, and to be honest it only got harder once treatment was over and I tried to go back to university. People had changed, I had changed, and it was impossible to fit in. I felt lonely and isolated and didn't really have much of a life outside my studies.
I struggled to accept my disability and found it difficult to spend meaningful time with friends when my physical capacity was so different to theirs.
I had no idea how to socialise with all the people who had no concept of the cancer bubble I had just escaped from, and I hardly lived any life outside of that bubble. I owe everything to my family for getting me through this hard time, who kept me sane, kept me motivated and ferried me back and forth to the prosthetic appointments that got me up and walking again.
Things started to look up; I passed my exams and remained in my original cohort, my prosthetic function was improving bit by bit, and I started the next academic year with a fresh start and began making new friends.
Just a few months later, lightening struck for a third time – the cancer had returned in the form of two lung nodules. At this point, I think a big part of me lost hope, I felt like the osteosarcoma would never stop rearing its head.
I was constantly panicked about the fact that with so little time left, I was not free to do all I wanted to do in life with a place in medical school to maintain and a prosthetic leg that I could only wear for a handful of hours per day.
In any case, soldiering on was all I knew what to do, and soldier on I did.
I had two consecutive lung surgeries and hoped for the best. With every passing all-clear appointment, the hope grew a little more.
Over time, I received a more sophisticated prosthetic knee, I passed my exams, and I was able to enjoy my life more outside of my studies. I lost friends, I made new ones, I got a boyfriend, I dumped him, I got a cat. Somehow six years passed, and I was at my graduation ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral in 33-degree heat.
Now I'm 25 years old and I work as a doctor at a hospital in East London. I imagine that sounds like the end of my big success story, impressive and cool and finally a big happy ending. And it is – I went through some really tough stuff and now I'm here and I love my job and I can't wait to see where my career takes me over the years.
I've been cancer free since 2020 and I have a little cat, a lovely partner and I live in London. Overall I'm really loving life.
However, I think after cancer, we all strive for that happy ending when treatment's over. When you're up and walking again, it's summer and you're skipping down the street without a care in the world. For me, my new life and all my cancer consequences are sometimes really tough to deal with.
I always have some sort of 'issue' to overcome with my prosthetic. Every day, there's always something that's hurting or not working, and always something to figure out and solve. I still get anxious about scans and feel frustrated at any limitations I have compared to my friends and peers.
It's good to set yourself goals, but it is also good to cut yourself slack sometimes. The stuff I've had to put up with is stuff people don't come near to having to experience in an entire lifetime, and I've done it as a teenager.
I've found that the key to handling all the difficult moments is quiet acceptance. All the setbacks that I've had have been an opportunity to prove to myself time and time again that I can apply myself and surpass my own expectations.
I had no idea that I would be able to pass my exams, learn to walk again, or work full-time as a junior doctor, until I tried. We can do loads of things that other people can't do. We can be brave, and strong, and vulnerable, and we can accept and overcome things that others can't even fathom.
So overall, we don't have to be a success story. Or really, arguably, we already are. The scars, prosthetic joints and prosthetic limbs are proof that we are designed to overcome, and we are built to survive.
Being incredible is inbuilt into us, and you're incredible just as you are, and you are where you need to be.