Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine woman hails support of Cancer Fund for Children in her recovery

Lizzie Gilmore was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma almost a year ago
Lizzie Gilmore was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma almost a year ago

By Christopher Leebody

A Coleraine woman has praised the support she received from the Cancer Fund for Children in battling Hodgkin lymphoma.

Lizzie Gilmore (24) was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer on July 11, 2018, two months after she first noticed a lump developing on her neck.

Lizzie described the stage between discovery and diagnosis as "the longest two months of my life".

"I saw numerous doctors, had an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy, a CT scan, two trips to casualty and a surgical biopsy. I then had two cycles of chemo, which consisted of four rounds, one round every two weeks.

"Then almost a month after my last chemo I had two weeks of radiotherapy. My cancer had a knock-on effect to just about every aspect of my life. It almost completely destroyed my self-confidence and self-esteem and made me exhausted beyond words."

Despite the toll on her mental and physical health, Lizzie points to the support she received from the charity.

The Cancer Fund for Children operates a centre at Daisy Lodge in Newcastle with a team of specialists offering one-to-one and group support to individuals and families.

Lizzie praised the team for helping her during the toughest stages of her fight: "Cancer Fund for Children supported me in so many ways," she said.

"Their specialists Helen and Lynn visited me in hospital and at home, helping to make me feel like I was very much connected and up to date with everything that was going on.

"I was also fortunate enough to go to Daisy Lodge, the charity's short break centre. Both times we stayed I can honestly say the charity provided us with the rest and relaxation we needed and more. When I entered Daisy Lodge I left my worries and insecurities at the door.

"I met other young people in a similar situation to me who I felt instantly comfortable talking to and sharing my experiences with. I took comfort in the fact that by sharing my experience I could in turn help someone else conquer some of the mental hurdles they were facing."

Lizzie says the strength of her family and friends keeps her going each day of her recovery.

Speaking ahead of the charity's annual Giant Coastal Challenge on September 22, Lizzie is encouraging everyone to come out and support the 10-mile sponsored hike starting at Portbradden Harbour. For more visit www.cancerfundforchildren.com

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