Kelly on support for young adults with cancer

Kelly was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 17. She was treated successfully but the cancer had a lasting effect. She says the Macmillan One2One Support Project has helped her to become more confident.

‘I finished my treatment in November and was back at school by January to do my A-Levels. Then I went straight to university. Through the whole of my treatment, and for a long time afterwards, I didn’t ask any questions. I just kept my head down and got through it.

‘When my treatment finished, I threw myself back into everything. By the second year of university, my body was struggling with the after effects of chemotherapy. I felt weak, and developed stomach problems. I became really anxious and depressed.

I'd suffer from panic attacks, worried I'd eat something that would set my stomach off when I was out with friends or at uni. I started missing lectures. In the end, my parents used to take me to my lectures and wait in the car park, so I could go back to them during breaks.’

Kelly’s mum was concerned and contacted Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist, Laura Cutler, who specialises in supporting teenagers and young adults with life after cancer. She also runs the Macmillan One2One Support Project.

The scheme provides practical and emotional support to young people aged 18-30. Volunteers of a similar age provide companionship, such as accompanying people to appointments, chatting over coffee and helping with practical tasks like shopping.

Laura introduced Kelly to Nadia, a volunteer on the scheme. ‘I’ve seen Nadia four or five times and she’s already helping me to get my confidence back. She’s so easy to talk to. We take my dogs out for walks or go to the shops. It’s definitely given me the confidence to start socialising again.’

It’s definitely given me the confidence to start socialising again.

Kelly, diagnosed with leukaemia