In 2009, when Fay was aged 15, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As a result of her cancer treatment, Fay missed out on six months of school.
“When I was well enough, I forced myself to go to school to try and do normal things. I was doing my GCSEs so I needed to do the work. I was quite focused, mainly for everyone else around me. If I could go to school, they would see that I was okay.
I was halfway through my GCSEs and tried to keep up with it as much as I could. Doing drama and music was quite difficult, though, as it’s practical and there was no way for me to be involved if I wasn’t in school.
My German teacher emailed me work to do when I was in hospital. But it was difficult being at the hospital school because it is very much focused on younger children. I could ask the teachers for help but they did not really know how to.
I ended up dropping one of my GCSEs because I missed too much to carry on. Then I took a year out after my exams because of all the side effects of my treatment. It had really worn me down.
I think my teachers should have been able to listen to what I wanted. There definitely could have been more support. When I finished chemotherapy and went back to school, I guess they didn’t really want to approach me with work because I obviously wasn’t very well.
They kind of skated around it and gave me the easy work, which, in the long-run, was really not helpful. They were trying to make it easier, but it didn’t benefit me in terms of my overall education.”