Posted on Friday 28 June 2019

in News

Young cancer survivor in 21st birthday skydive to thank charities for their support

A young cancer survivor has raised hundreds of pounds in a charity skydive to mark her 21st birthday and thank charities close to her heart for supporting her through it all.

Caitilin and Robbie after completing skydive

Caitilin Carroll and boyfriend Robbie Foulds, 21, took part in the skydive in Lincolnshire on Sunday 23rd June, raising over £800 for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Caitilin received the shock diagnosis of ovarian germ cell cancer back in March 2016, when the doctors discovered a 23cm tumour on her ovary.

Caitilin said, “I was poorly for about a year before my diagnosis. I had really bad migraines, and it felt like I had just one long migraine every day for a year. I also had quite a few deficiencies in my blood, and I looked like I was pregnant.

“I had these symptoms and I kept going to my doctors but they just said it was hormonal. Then one day at college, I had this strange tingly feeling in my arm that my mum feared might be a stroke. They took me for a CT scan the next day and found the tumour, which had been pushing on my kidney and stomach.”

After the doctors found the tumour, Caitilin started chemotherapy treatment right away, which was for seven hours a day, five days in a row every three weeks. In July 2016, new scans revealed the tumour had shrunk and doctors decided to operate and remove her entire right ovary.

Caitilin said: “You never think at 17 that you are going to have one of your ovaries removed and only be left with one. That was the part I was most nervous about. That is the sort of thing you may associate with older age, so it felt quite hard.

“The whole time, I tried to keep a positive mindset. There were moments when I got upset and angry, but I just had to overcome it. I don’t know how I would’ve done it without the support of CLIC Sargent, which is why I decided to give something back.”

During and after Caitilin’s treatment, the Carroll family received support from a CLIC Sargent social worker who provided practical, emotional and financial support. Caitilin is also a member of CLIC Sargent’s Young Person’s Reference Group, which gives young people a chance to meet and provide support to those who have had similar experiences.

Caitilin said: “The jump is a nice way to celebrate my 21st birthday and say thank you to the charities that helped me. I’ve met so many friends through CLIC Sargent and they have given me experiences that will last a lifetime.

I was scared right before jumping but then realized it’s no different than facing an operation during cancer treatment, your life is in someone else’s hands. If I can do that, I can do anything. The dive was one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life.”

421 financial grants to the value of £85,379 helping families to cope with the costs of cancer. The Cancer Costs report from the charity found that families with a child on active treatment spend an extra £600 a month.

Josanne Richardson, CLIC Sargent Fundraising Engagement Manager for South and East Yorkshire, said: “Caitilin and Robbie are volunteers for CLIC Sargent in the local area and have done some amazing work for us this year and now they have really gone above and beyond. We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work and so we can’t thank them for their fantastic efforts.

“Thanks to Caitilin, Robbie and everyone who has donated, we will be able to help even more young people thrive not just survive after their cancer diagnosis.”

To support Caitilin and Robbie’s fundraising effort, go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/21birthday . For more information about CLIC Sargent’s work, go to https://www.clicsargent.org.uk.

Support Caitilin and Robbie

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