Cancer survivor loving life

Sarah King, the youngest ever ambassador for the Illawarra Relay for Life, says cancer can happen to anyone. Picture: KIRK GILMOURSarah King says she’s just a typical teenager who is pretty happy with the world.

It’s possibly not the response you expect from a 17-year-old studying for her HSC – let alone one who has spent the past five years in and out of hospital battling leukaemia.

But Sarah is high on life and in four months expects her serotonin levels to skyrocket when doctors can finally give her the all-clear.

Sarah was 12 when she was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night. Chemotherapy began almost immediately.

“I went from being a normal active kid to one lying in a hospital bed for months on end,” the St Mary Star of the Sea student, now in remission, said yesterday.

“I was having chemotherapy and weekly lumbar punctures because the cancer cells had gone into my spinal fluid.”

Sarah’s first sign of trouble was lethargy.

“It all happened within four months,” she said.

“I started getting really tired; everyone just thought I had a cold but I kept getting more and more tired.

“It got to the point where I’d come home and sleep, wake up for dinner, then go back to bed until the next morning.”

Being diagnosed with cancer was tough for a tween.

“I didn’t understand. I wasn’t old enough – the only people I’d seen get sick were old people and they passed away. Yeah, I was scared.”

Support from other patients in the Sydney Children’s Hospital, family, friends and medical professionals was the key to Sarah getting through it.

“I had all these different wonderful people telling me what was going to happen to me and that it was OK to be scared. It really helped me.”

Sarah got a chance to reciprocate, helping a schoolmate who had her own bad news.

“I could sit down and talk to her, all the stuff she didn’t want to ask anyone. She knew because I’d been there, she wasn’t afraid to take her wig off, things like that.”

Sarah’s bubbly nature and empathy made her an easy choice for the Cancer Council’s youngest ambassador for the Illawarra Relay for Life on September 8 and 9.

“Cancer can happen to anyone and that’s why I urge everyone in the Illawarra, especially young people, to get behind the relay,” she said.

For more details visit www.relayforlife苏州美甲美睫培训.au

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