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'Doing my cancer treatments alone was scary'

PUBLISHED

A campaign has started to prevent children and young people receiving cancer treatment alone in the pandemic.

Charities behind the #Hand2Hold campaign want to enable all young people aged 16 to 25 to be allowed a chaperone, instead of only some.

Mikaela Forrester, 18, from Somerset had some of her cancer treatments alone and said she did not want other young people to have that experience.

She said without her mother she found it "scary" and "lonely".

Miss Forrester lives in Frome and was diagnosed in July 2019 with Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma, an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. In March 2020 she was told she had relapsed and would need to undergo a further round of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and a stem cell transplant.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, she was told she had to have those treatments on her own, without immediate support from her family or friends.

She said: "When I had my transplant and my cells harvested with three weeks in hospital, with no visitors, it was just so scary. It was quite lonely."

"Even if I could hug my parents, or if they could stand two metres away with a mask on, just knowing they were there during the most difficult times would have made me feel comfortable because it was so overwhelming."

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Source: BBC News, 16 February 2021

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