It was devastating at the time, but I met amazing people who helped me pursue a career in medical science

I was 14 years old when I was told I had cancer. It was just before Christmas in 2009 and I’d had terrible pain in my side for several weeks. After being seen at four different hospitals, I ended up at Birmingham children’s hospital. It was there that I was told I had alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, words that meant absolutely nothing to me at first. I soon realised they meant cancer.

Before my diagnosis, I was far more concerned with schoolwork and my friends – normal things 14-year-olds have to deal with. But my world had suddenly been turned upside down. I now had to deal with countless hospital tests and appointments, doctor visits and treatments. I lost all my hair – I even lost my eyebrows and eyelashes, which was especially hard to come to terms with.

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Read More I was 14 when I was told I had cancer. It inspired me to pursue my dream | Lucy Speechley

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