"Before, I would take certain things as they came. Now I’m determined to take on the world."
It had taken him three years to be diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Doctors originally thought the lump behind his knee was a sporting injury from rugby and full-contact football, as well as from the fact he was still growing. One day his leg locked into place, and he fell from the top of a flight stairs in school straight to the bottom.
An emergency MRI scan followed, and then numerous rounds of chemotherapy, which only caused the cancer to spread from his knee to his ankle.Find out about the trips Support the Trust
"Knowing I can get on a boat perfectly fine has helped me take each day as it comes. I take days to their full advantage."
“It was hard to take on,” he said. “I was bullied by friends I went to school with, and I was bullied out of school too, because I was a lot different from other children, having an amputation.”
A fresh start was in order. Supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust, Lewis was pointed in the direction of a Trust trip, which he said helped with his anxiety and his confidence.
His head was all over the place at first though. He said: “Obviously, being an above knee amputee, I was scared knowing I’d have to get on a boat. I was thinking of everything, the rocking on the water.
"I was scared knowing I’d have to get on a boat, but that first step on board was freedom."
“But that first step on board was freedom. I went from thinking I was going to fall in, to being perfectly fine. I had help from the skipper too. It is an amazing experience to be able to sit on a boat because, initially, you have your leg amputated and you think there’s so much you’re not going to be able to do. Knowing now that I can get on a boat perfectly fine has helped me take each day as it comes. I take days to their full advantage.”
Being taken out of his comfort zone gave Lewis his optimism back after the ‘hardest year of his life’ during his treatment. He’s back playing football and is training to become an athletic sprinter.
“A lot of what I’m doing now is help from the Trust itself,” he said. “Because they’ve helped me build up to be the person I am now. Before, I would take certain things as they came. Now I’m determined to take on the world. This is who I am now and this is how it’s gonna stay.”
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from Trust support, or you want to make a difference to young lives after cancer, here's how you can...Find out about the trips Support the Trust