This World Cancer Day, on Sunday 4th February, Morrisons wants to help CLIC Sargent give more families access to their services. Here’s Tyler’s story - just one of the reasons why ‘banding together’ is so important for young people with cancer…
Tyler, 14, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Burkitts lymphoma) in July 2016 after experiencing severe stomach and back ache. CLIC Sargent supported Tyler and his family through it all - and he is now supporting our World Cancer Day campaign.
Doctors initially dismissed Tyler's symptoms as constipation or growing pains. It was even suggested that Tyler was making it up to miss school. After several trips to the doctor and even emergency trips to A&E because his pain was so severe, Tyler eventually received the shock diagnosis.
Tyler’s mum, Sue Hart, said: “When we were told it was cancer, I was devastated, I just couldn’t believe it. I felt guilty because I didn’t believe him all those times. Hearing the words cancer was the last thing I expected. The memories are hazy because I think we were in shock.”
Tyler then underwent six intensive courses of chemotherapy which caused a lot of physical, as well as emotional side effects for the teenager.
Hidden Costs research from CLIC Sargent showed that 79% of young people felt cancer had a serious impact on their emotional wellbeing, 70% experienced depression during their cancer treatment and 83% of young people experienced loneliness during their cancer treatment.
During his cancer treatment, Tyler, a huge YouTube fan, built an unlikely friendship with YouTubers Masieh Zarrien (aka Masieh) and Shah Faisal Shinwari (aka Carnage), who came to visit him in hospital.
Masiah later posted a video of the visit on his YouTube channel calling it ‘the most humbling experience of my life’.
Tyler also met the YouTube ‘Sidemen crew’ as a football mascot in a charity football match meeting stars like KSI, Marcus Butler and Callux who have fans in the millions.
Tyler said: “It was a really difficult time but watching my favourite YouTubers helped to keep my mind off things and make me feel less isolated. The comments I got through YouTube were really supportive and it really boosted my spirits. I can’t say thanks enough for that.”
During his treatment in London, Tyler’s family also had support from a CLIC Sargent Social Worker who provide financial, emotional and practical support to children and young people with cancer.
Now Tyler and his family are supporting CLIC Sargent’s World Cancer Campaign where supporters can get their own ‘Band Against Cancer’ wristband for a suggested donation of £2 to raise vital funds and awareness.
Tyler said: “I’m really proud to back this campaign and wear my Band Against Cancer wristband because CLIC Sargent made such a difference to me and my family. Buying a band and telling everyone about it is such an easy way to make sure other families get the same support I did.”
For more information on CLIC Sargent, the partnership with Morrisons and how you can get involved, please visit www.clicsargent.org.uk/Morrisons