In June 2016, Shaun Haw (23) from Mayobridge was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia while in his final year of university. Shaun is now in remission and he credits his progress to the incredible team at the Cancer Centre and the support he received from Friends of the Cancer Centre. This is Shaun’s story.
“I was preparing to sit my final year exams at Ulster University’s Magee Campus when I became unwell. I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and my hopes of completing my degree were put on hold. “I had been planning a trip to New York with my girlfriend after graduation and I was on my way to buy a suitcase after what I thought was a routine hospital visit. Everything changed so quickly. It was like my life was put on hold.”
The most challenging experience of my life
“It was a very tough time for me and for my family. I went from being a normal, healthy young man, playing football and preparing for my final exams to facing a leukaemia diagnosis. It was a very scary time. Between June 2016 and January 2017, Shaun underwent four rounds of intensive chemotherapy. “I didn’t know what to expect from treatment. Initially I had hoped I would be able to complete my exams and coursework in hospital but as my treatment progressed, it became clear this wouldn’t be possible.
“Treatment was intense, but the staff on ward 10 at Belfast City Hospital and at the Cancer Centre were incredible. I also had the support of Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Clinical Nurse Specialist for Teenagers and Young Adults, Renée Reid who helped me and my family through such a difficult time. Renée is a vital part of the wider Teenage and Young Adult Service which offers age appropriate clinical and psychosocial support for teenagers and young adults living with cancer across Northern Ireland. Going through treatment was the most challenging experience of my life and I’m so thankful that Renée was there to help me through.”
Friends of the Cancer Centre makes a real difference
“I am healthy now and getting back to myself. I have to go for regular check-ups and everything has been normal so far. It’s a huge relief to me and to my family.
“Friends of the Cancer Centre is an incredible local charity and as a patient, young or old, you can see the difference it makes every day. I couldn’t have got this far without the charity’s support. Thank you to everyone who supports Friends of the Cancer Centre as I’m proof of the difference your support makes.”
Q Radiothon is committed to supporting people just like Shaun by raising vital funds to support our fantastic charity partners. If you would like to help us make a difference, you can take part in our Big Brunch, hold your own event or make a donation.