Posted on Thursday 25 February 2021

George’s story: “It was very difficult to receive the news I had relapsed alone”

George, 20, was on his own when he heard the news his oesophageal cancer had returned and that he would need further treatment. He shares his story as part of the #Hand2Hold campaign:


“I was away from home at Drama school when I had the phone call from my doctor that my cancer had relapsed for the second time and my family were about 200 miles away.

“It was very difficult to receive that news alone – all I wanted was to be surrounded by my family but they were miles away and we were in a lockdown so I wasn’t able to see them.

“I was lucky that I had my housemates to spend the evening with and take my mind off of things but it was incredibly hard to not be able to see my parents and talk to them in person about the next steps.”

He has also undergone all of his latest rounds of chemotherapy alone due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since Covid, I’ve never been offered to bring someone with me to appointments due to my age. One of the things I miss the most is just having a friend or family member to talk to. Even though I’m 20, it’s always nice to have someone with you for emotional support, especially during chemotherapy. Chemo isn’t easy.

“The amazing nurses around you make it as comfortable as possible but nothing can quite compare to having a member of your family or a close friend sitting with you for support.”

George was first diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in July 2019 and, fortunately, was able to have both his parents, and step-parents, with him for the initial diagnosis. 

“I had very few symptoms leading up to my diagnosis, I had occasional indigestion and stomach cramps. One night I woke up very sick and threw up a rather large amount of blood, I then spent the next week in hospital and, at the end of the week, I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer – I had a tumour at the junction of my oesophagus, with secondary metastasis in my stomach.

“At the time, I was told that I was the youngest person to ever be diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.”

George is sharing his story as part of the #Hand2Hold campaign to raise awareness of the challenges some young people with cancer are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.  


Hand 2 Hold

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