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Teens & Young Adults

If Childhood Cancer Hadn’t Returned, I’d Graduate Next Week

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
April 26, 2012

Photo by Stephanie Beaty, Lifeography

By Sarah Swaim, one of five St. Baldrick’s Foundation 2012 Ambassadors

I was diagnosed with a type of childhood cancer when I was 14. When I was 20, the cancer returned again.

There’s no easy way to say what it’s like being a young adult with cancer. It sucks and it’s harder than you can imagine. I was in college, pursuing my dreams of majoring in Early Childhood Development. But when I got sick, I needed to leave college for two years and put those dreams on hold.

The physical and emotional tolls were just awful and for the longest time, I couldn’t remember feeling well. I had a lot of pain and nausea and I was so weak I couldn’t do even the simplest of things.

If the cancer hadn’t returned, I would be graduating next week with all of my friends. I would be worrying about final exams, finding a job, and starting my life. Instead, I’m worrying about blood test results, doctor’s appointments, taking my 20 medications on time, and if my life will end before it’s even been given the chance to begin.

I will forever be grateful for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Not only have they supplied the world with beautiful bald heads, but they funded the clinical trial that ultimately saved my life. St. Baldrick’s has shown me that there is hope, and that one day kids and young adults with cancer, just like me, won’t need to worry.

Read more about the importance of clinical trials for adolescents and young adults with cancer.

See the impact your involvement with St. Baldrick’s is making for kids with cancer.

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