I am 25 years old and I live in Chelmsford with my family. At 22, this diagnosis was a life changing event that I never thought would ever happen to me!
I graduated University with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Studies in 2009. Following this I spent three months travelling around Asia with a friend. When I came home, I started to work for the East of England Ambulance Service in their control room. It was during the 12 months of cancer treatment I went through, that I was able to consider what I wanted to do with my life. When my treatment came to an end, I applied to University to study for my PGCE in primary school teacher training.
I had experienced pain and swelling around my rib site for approximately two to three months which I attributed to a sports injury (football/golf/long-distance running) - all of which I participated in regularly. When over the counter pain relief did not resolve my symptoms, I saw my GP who ordered an X-ray and CT scan. Results were inconclusive and my GP felt further investigations were warranted. So I was initially referred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Middlesex. Following preliminary tests, my treatment was diverted to University College London Hospital (UCLH) for further investigations, resulting in my Ewing Sarcoma diagnosis.
I attended UCLH for chemotherapy, prior to me having surgery at The Royal Brompton Hospital during the Christmas period of 2010. I subsequently returned in 2011 to have my consolidation chemotherapy.
My diagnosis was such a shock for my family, friends and me. My girlfriend Kathryn was travelling in Fiji at the time and it was a difficult decision to tell her, as I knew she would cut her trip short (which she did) and I will always be grateful for that support. In fact I am grateful to so many people without whom I do not believe I would be here now.
Having researched Ewing Sarcoma, I know early diagnosis is important and my GP's timely referral to experts probably saved my life. Then I met oncologists, surgeons, nurses, social workers and pharmacists who I can definitely say treated me with such respect and expertise that I shall always remain indebted to them. I have been in remission for 18 months.
I run marathons (I was part of Team Bones at the London Marathon in 2012; raising approx £7000), compete in triathlons, am fitter now than I was before cancer and I am determined to put the year of 'cancer' behind me.
Kathryn is already a qualified teacher and I am hot on her tails! We are planning a life full of hard work and fun together.
I will be eternally grateful to all those who cared for me, that I have been given this opportunity.