Evie, age 13, Cancer Survivor (with mum, Sarah)
On being diagnosed with cancer during lockdown.
(Sarah) Evie had osteosarcoma on her right humerus, it’s a bone tumour. Very unusually, it went right from her shoulder all the way down to her elbow.
In March 2020, just as lockdown hit, she started nine months of chemotherapy at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and spent nearly every other day at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, when she got poorly between chemo admissions. She had a six-hour operation in June 2020 at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London to replace her shoulder joint, humerus bone and elbow joint with a custom-made metal implant, and then she had more chemo at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
On going through treatment during lockdown.
(Evie) I set two goals for myself : get to my operation and then to finish treatment. The hospital gave us these beads to represent everything that I went through during my treatment. It started with this long, black string and I got a bead for each single thing I went through - overnight stays, medicine challenges, physiotherapy, a bead for when I was being strong and brave, and I got a special one when my chemotherapy ended and I rang the bell in Birmingham. It’s a lovely way to show what I’ve gone through — saying it without telling it.
Towards the end of my treatment, my tutor group from school sent me a video and it made me cry. It made me more determined to finish this so I can get back to school and see my friends. I also have a lovely hamster called Acorn and she definitely helped me get through this time.
(Sarah) Evie rang the End of Treatment bell at Birmingham on 2nd December 2020, to mark her last chemo admission. She continued to receive weekly doses of a special infusion at Worcester Hospital, to try and lessen the chances of recurrence. After her last dose of that, Evie rang the bell again, this time at Worcester Hospital on 20th April 2021— at the same time, accidentally breaking the bell!
On beating cancer and leaving lockdown.
(Evie) I always try to be be positive with everything, and to be brave always. I am looking forward to getting out more and doing more things — like swimming! I also don’t feel as self-conscious as before now that I don’t have to hide my lines or wear my wig anymore. I can’t wait to go shopping with friends, going to the movies by ourselves and have a little bit more freedom.
(Sarah) We look at Evie and think, if she can be positive through all of this, then so can we. It’s been tough at times but her positivity has given us strength. She’s taught us that there is no reason to be sad about this, to think negatively or to keep feeling that this is difficult. Her strength and positive spirit radiated throughout this challenging time. We are learning so much from Evie and we are so very proud of her.
Evie and her family invites us to support the Worcestershire Royal Hospital charity, who have been amazing to Evie during the past year.
To donate, please visit the charity website.