Back in 2000, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia a month before my 5th birthday. I fell ill eight months before I was diagnosed, but because my symptoms were very inconsistent; it wasn't until the beginning of 2000 that I began a 2 year journey of chemotherapy. By this time, the leukaemia had spread into my liver and had enlarged my spleen making me extremely ill.

In March 2002, I was lucky enough to complete my treatment and enter a 5 year remission period, then finally, in 2007 I received the 'all clear'. If it wasn’t for research, medication and support from healthcare workers and my family, I can without doubt say I would not be here today. They gave me the strength, courage and determination to fight and survive. Since March 2022, I am proudly 20 years ‘cancer free’ and would love to do my part in making a difference and continue the fight against blood cancer.

My aim through this fundraiser is to raise awareness of Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and support families who have had similar experiences to my own.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (A.L.L) is rare, with around 790 people diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK. A.L.L is a type of cancer that affects white blood cells. It progresses quickly and aggressively and requires immediate treatment. Most cases of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia develop in children, teenagers and young adults. Although it is rare, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is the most common type of leukaemia that affects children.

Unfortunately, with a diagnosis like A.L.L, the treatment are nothing short of invasive, harmful and can cause long term side effects later on in life. To monitor long term side effects, I receive echocardiograms to track my heart functions, which I will receive for life. However; some other possible long term effects could include:

A) Fertility problems
B) Bone problems like osteoporosis
C) Changes in how the kidneys and heart work
D) Growth problems
E) Higher risk of developing a second cancer

Researchers are looking into new treatments for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia as well as ways to reduce the side effects treatment can cause. Because of research, treatment for childhood ALL has got much better over the past 30 years. Now, more than 9 out of 10 children (more than 90%) with ALL survive.
All the money I raise will be used to fund research into kinder and more effective treatments for blood cancer.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and if you want to follow my mad journey to the Cardiff Half, with the aim of going from 'novice' to 'pro sportswoman' (questionable!!) I will be sure to update the page! I suggest I give up the chocolate for now!

I appreciate that times are very tough, however, if you are in a position to donate even £1 would be fantastic or just a simple share of the page with someone you know would make my day.

Thank you :)

Natalia x

Natalia Davies