A week before her 15th birthday Rhiannon was told the devastating news; that she had cancer. Her exact diagnosis was Hodgkins Lymphoma: an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system – a network of vessels and glands spread throughout your body. To fight the illness Rhiannon had to endure six-months of intense chemotherapy, which completely turned her life upside-down. At a time when Rhiannon should be enjoying her teenage years, thriving at school and enjoying precious time with her friends, she lacked the confidence to engage and just wanted to hide away.
Although after chemo she was back in good health, she was struggling to return to her normal self and continue with the life she had before her diagnosis. It was at this time that Rhiannon met Teens Unite; the only UK charity to provide ongoing support to 13-24 year olds to help them overcome the social, emotional and physical effects a cancer diagnosis can leave behind. Rhiannon first became involved with the charity eight years ago and still supports them to this day. With funding from DMTFYP, Teens Unite were ABLE to help Rhiannon form new friendships, rebuild her confidence and self-esteem and think positively about life ahead.
In October 2015, Rhiannon embraced the challenge of a lifetime to support Teens Unite and give something back after the support she had received to rebuild her life. Rhiannon and her partners completed Teens Unite’s mammoth 350km cycle through Cuba in just five days. On average they cycled 70km per day, through a hot climate and rough terrain, but Rhiannon made it across the finish line.
Rhiannon had to raise sponsorship to take part in the trip, and by the end was able to donate a massive £5,000 to the charity. The money Rhiannon raised enabled more young people like her to benefit from the support of Teens Unite.