I'll always stay with the trust.
It's part of me

Every day Raveen, from London lives with the lasting effects of childhood cancer.

Diagnosed with leukaemia before her third birthday, she spent three years in hospital while radiotherapy left her with mild learning and communication difficulties.

Shyness and acute frustration contributed to a crippling lack of confidence. But her relationships with the Trust and her twin sister have helped her discover a positive outlook and pursue a dream career in childcare.

People don’t understand; I can do things it just might take me a bit longer

I have problems talking sometimes and with my memory, and can get confused with what I need to say. I can get really frustrated, upset and overwhelmed quite quickly. I get a lot of family support to find solutions to manage these when they happen.

It was hard to make friends

I was so young when I was ill, if I couldn’t understand what I’d been through how could I explain it to others? I was really shy and school was socially challenging. I was bullied. My sister protected me, her friends knew and understood me. I felt I had people on my side, but no real friends of my own.

Raveen and her twin sister

I beat myself up about what I thought I couldn’t do

My sister was on a different level at everything. I compared myself to her and I’d kick myself down all the time. As twins it’s hard sometimes not to see what she’s achieved and think ‘Why did I go through this? What would I be like if I hadn’t?’ My illness still impacts on everything.

I didn’t know a Trust like this existed

The first mention of a trip came through my Great Ormond Street Hospital nurse, Susan. I was low all the time. I didn’t know anyone who had been through anything like I had. I felt I was the only one. Susan thought a Trust trip might help me.

For the first time people understood me

That trip opened my eyes to what support and opportunities were out there. I made friends and it made me really happy I wasn’t the only one who had been through this. You’re not being judged on what you’ve been through, you feel comfortable. I felt a lot better about myself after.

Every time I go back it helps me as you see old friends and make new ones too. There is happiness.

Raveen with Ellen MacArthur

Being a Trust volunteer means so much to me

I get as much from the young people as I hope they can get from me. They can look at me and hopefully see they can achieve things, and when they talk about things they want to do, I think ‘I can do that too’. It’s very rewarding seeing the difference in them at the start and end of trips.

I shouldn’t put myself down

My mum says she still sees how happy going away with the Trust makes me. I’m more confident, have proper friendships and work in a nursery having done my NVQ Level 3 in childcare.

I would probably be in a very different place if I hadn’t gone on that first trip.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the Trust.

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