I am studying Laboratory Medicine at Curtin University in Perth WA. I am doing work experience at the Telethon Kids Institute at the Perth Children’s Hospital. My interests are very much in the science realm of things and the area of youth cancer. I am very passionate about advocating for young people being a young person myself and making the science/health available in a way that young people and the general public understand because it is not often easy to do so.
Cancer is like being in an unmapped forest. Trying to find your way through with no path, no directions, lots of twists and turns, and no obvious way to get to the other side. I was 18 years old when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had no idea that it would come into my life as a ‘fake friend'.
Cancer to me was like a dream. When my surgeon told me that the small lump in my finger was an epithelioid sarcoma – a rare, aggressive, malignant tumour, the dream got worse and turned into a nightmare. The only treatment option available was to have my finger amputated.
Connecting with other young people with a cancer experience in their lives was the best thing I ever did and the relief I felt when I spoke to a Canteen counsellor when I first joined was enormous.
I really feel like I have become part of the Canteen family. Whether it be counselling, personal development, going on camps and leadership opportunities, Canteen has really helped me every step of the way from re-adjusting to my ‘new normal’ to regaining my self-esteem and confidence.