LIZZIE URGING LOCAL PEOPLE TO TAKE GIANT STEPS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IMPACTED BY CANCER
Lizzie Gilmore (24) from Coleraine is encouraging local people to take ‘giant steps’ this September to support children and young people impacted by cancer.
Our Giant Coastal Challenge will return on Sunday 22nd September, and Lizzie is hoping that hundreds will step out for the 10 mile sponsored hike which will start at Portbradden Harbour, and take in the world class scenery of the North Antrim coastline before finishing at Portbalinatrea Boat Club.
Funds raised from the challenge will help us provide practical and emotional support to young people like Lizzie whose have been diagnosed with cancer.
“I first found a lump in my neck on 10th May 2018, but I wasn’t officially diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma until 11th July. To say those were the longest two months of my life would be a massive understatement. I saw numerous doctors, had an ultrasound guided needle biopsy, a CT scan, two trips to casualty and a surgical biopsy. I then had two cycles of chemo, which consisted of four rounds, one round every two weeks. Then almost a month after my last chemo I had two weeks of radiotherapy. My cancer had a knock on affect to just about every aspect of my life. It almost completely destroyed my self-confidence and self-esteem, and made me exhausted beyond words.”
This was when Cancer Fund for Children stepped in.
We understands that cancer has a huge physical, psychological and social impact on young people. Our team of Cancer Support Specialists deliver individual and group support to young people when they are in hospital, at home and at Cancer Fund for Children’s residential centre in Newcastle Co. Down.
Speaking of the support she received Lizzie said,
“Cancer Fund for Children supported me in so many ways. Their Specialists Helen and Lynn visited me in hospital and at home, helping to make me feel like I was very much connected and up to date with everything that was going on. I was also fortunate enough to go to Daisy Lodge, the charity’s short break centre. Both times we stayed I can honestly say the charity provided us with the rest and relaxation we needed and more. When I entered Daisy Lodge I left my worries and insecurities at the door.”
“It may sound cliché, but Cancer Fund for Children helped me in ways I could never have imaged I would need help. They provided me with a much needed comfort blanket and support network and I regained some of the confidence I lost during my diagnosis, treatment and recovery. I met other young people in a similar situation to me who I felt instantly comfortable talking to and sharing my experiences with. I took comfort in the fact that by sharing my experience I could in turn help someone else conquer some of the mental hurdles they were facing.”
Lizzie says she is now taking each day as it comes and takes comfort from the fact that she has the most amazing family, friends and partner who help her through the bad days. She said,
“My life will never be the same as it was before my diagnosis but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I try not to forget that not everyone has the luxury of coming out the other side. I am so grateful that I am fit and able to carry on and find a new normal in my life. “
“I cannot put into words how valuable Cancer Fund for Children’s support was to me and can say with confidence that I would not be where I am today without their help. I would encourage as many people as possible to lace up their walking boots and join Cancer Fund for Children for Giant Coastal Challenge. Your participation will help the charity provide comfort and support to so many other young people in Northern Ireland impacted by cancer.
Find out how you can take giant steps for young people by signing up for our Giant Coastal Challenge: