As we reflect on the success of Team GB in the Olympics and count down to the 2016 Paralympics, a young charity ambassador, cancer survivor and amputee is getting tough on cancer by proving she can still lead a healthy and active life and is encouraging other to do the same.
At 16, Sarah Dransfield was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in her right knee that resulted in the amputation of her leg as part of the intensive treatment to save her life. Now 21, despite her life-changing disability, she is demonstrating that cancer won’t stop her leading a healthy and active life. With the help of fellow Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust (LCYCT) Ambassadors and supporters she is travelling (cycling/running/rowing) 5,848 miles, the distance from the UK to Rio during September.
With its ongoing youth-targeted cancer research programme and projects to tackle the devastation caused by cancer, the LCYCT is getting even tougher on cancer, and today, to coincide with the start of Sarah’s Challenge, has launched a set of three powerful images titled #GettingToughOnCancer.
The charity hopes Sarah’s challenge and the #GettingToughOnCancer images will inspire others to get tough on cancer by contributing to the 5,848 miles, and are encouraging others to post their own #GettingToughOnCancer images on social media to help raise awareness of the campaign and vital funds in order to continue their work into youth cancer research.
Sarah Dransfield talks of her cancer journey: “There were some very hard times during my illness for not just me, but for my family and friends too. The time surrounding the operation to remove my leg was dark, I can’t pretend it was otherwise. I can clearly remember taking the last shower before the operation and knowing this would be the last time with both my legs. I took a photograph.
“There was a period of time that I really couldn’t see out of that darkness. But you can’t give up! You have to keep fighting. And now that I am well and reinventing a life that is still full of new experiences and achievements, I want to fight for all those other young people who are going through difficult times.”
Former English professional Rugby League player Keith Senior, who also appears in some of the images, added: “I understand feeling debilitated to some extent. I know how frustrating it was for me to be injured and for the career I loved to be taken away from me. But what some of these young patients go through, I cannot possibly comprehend. I know I had to dig deep to get my fitness back and I know for our patients some things can’t be changed, but we all need to do what we can to support them and we can do that by getting tough on cancer.”
Survival rates for teenagers and young adults with cancer in the UK have more than doubled since the mid-1970s with more than four in five surviving for more than five years. Young people are more likely to be treated with other patients of their age and gain invaluable peer support, which the LCYCT’s research has shown can improve patient outcomes. They are also more likely to have independent support and access to recreational equipment. Despite better survival rates, the charity’s mission is to use the funds raised from this campaign to ensure things continue to improve.
For more information about the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust visit http://www.lauracranetrust.org
People who wish to donate to Sarah Dransfield’s #GettingToughOnCancer either financially or by contributing miles, you can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GettingTough
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust , on Wednesday 31 August, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/