A COVENTRY student who was diagnosed with cancer aged 20 says she felt like ‘giving up’ and wants to raise money for a social work scheme that supported her.
Michaela Lawrence, 21, from Bell Green, Coventry, is calling on communities to band together to raise money for children and young people suffering from the illness.
She has launched a fundraising appeal ahead of World Cancer Day (February 4).
She is lending her support to CLIC Sargent, a UK cancer charity for children and young people, whose social workers provide practical, emotional and financial support for sufferers.
She is encouraging people to donate £2 to the charity and get a ‘Band Against Cancer’ wristband.
Michaela had to put her life on hold after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in September 2017, just days before she was due to move away and start university.
Michaela says: “Being diagnosed with cancer was a massive life changing moment for me and everyone around me.
“The process of trying to understand what was wrong with someone that had never been seriously ill was tedious; having blood test after blood test, scan after scan, and at one point being admitted to hospital for a whole month for observation.
“I wanted to give up, especially when I came to the realisation that even the GP and hospital couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.”
Following eight months of chemotherapy, Michaela has thankfully now reached a year of being in remission.
Throughout her treatment, Michaela was supported by a CLIC Sargent social worker.
Michaela said: “I love wearing my Band Against Cancer wristbands and showing my support for CLIC Sargent because my social worker was such a massive help to me and my family when I was unwell.
“He told my family about all the ways he could help and supported us with applying for different grants and benefits to help with money.”
CLIC Sargent fundraising and engagement manager for the region Elaine Griffin said: “Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer.
“Donating and getting your ‘Band Against Cancer’ wristband is a simple way to show your support for CLIC Sargent and people like Michaela this World Cancer Day.”
Cancer Costs research from the charity revealed that families spend an extra £600 a month on average while on treatment – on things such as travel, accommodation and parking charges.
To find out more about World Cancer Day go to www.clicsargent.org.uk/WorldCancerDay. Bands are also available in Morrisons stores, J D Wetherspoon pubs and select H Samuel and Ernest Jones stores.