Just three days after Grace, 23, gave birth to her son Austin, she found she couldn’t walk properly. She had previously had a benign tumour on her thigh but six weeks after the birth the doctor said 'it's cancer'.
From her bone cancer diagnosis, CLIC Sargent Social Worker Sam stepped in, ready to help, support and guide. He provided a specialist package of support tailored to Grace and her family. Here, she tells her story.
"The cancer didn’t shock me. But the thought that I might not be around for my son really hurt me deeply. It made me feel so low.
"Since then my husband has had to be the mum of the baby really as I’ve been in hospital a lot with the treatment and infections. In total I’ll have six cycles of chemo.
"Hospital has been really, really tough and I almost died with one of the infections I had, I was in intensive care. But I’m not ready to die.
"When we first met, my CLIC Sargent Social Worker Sam listened to the things I was worried about – like paying our rent. Ambrose had to give up work to care for Austin and we were really struggling with money.
Peace of mind
"But Sam knew everything about benefits we could claim and he gave me a CLIC Sargent grant of £170 which we used to help pay our rent. He’s also put me in touch and helped me get grants from other charities. It has given me peace of mind.
"Sam has helped me come to terms with what I’m going through too. It was so hard at first. I couldn’t even imagine one day with cancer. When I was first on the ward, I had my hair and seeing all the others who were bald and looked ill made me feel funny about everything. I was able to talk to Sam about that.
"He’s always there. I talk to him, cry to him, joke when I need to. He pushes me to stay positive and has arranged for me to see a psychologist so I can talk to them about some other problems I’ve been struggling with too.
"Cancer changes things. But I want people to know that cancer doesn’t mean that your life is over. We’re not just all lying down in a bed all day being ill.
"It is about fighting it and staying positive and it is a new opportunity for you to do better. It’s not that you have cancer that your life is gone. We are still here, we are alive. It is amazing what you can survive without – even your hair."
Find out more
When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient, like Grace and her family. Donate now to help us continue this support.