To be told you have cancer is devastating, especially when you have been diagnosed for the 4th time and you’re 18. But this time, there is no sugar-coating it; the cancer has spread to different places. You have secondary tumours, also known as metastatic cancer.
I wanted to tell you Esther Greene’s story. She is my best friend and the bravest person I know; my hero.
Esther was first diagnosed with cancer when she was just three years old, a child oblivious to how serious her situation was. Mercifully she responded to the treatment well and was given the all clear. This was until a year later – now aged five, it had come back and there were once again cancerous tumours in her spine.
Another intense course of therapy, brave Esther entered remission for the second time. Despite her spine being heavily damaged and her bladder working at half of the percentage it should be, Esther had all of the fight in the world.
For ten years Esther remained cancer-free, and all thought that the horrible disease was gone for good. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
Due to her previous treatment she’d had, her spine was left fragile and damaged. It was painful for Esther and she couldn’t wait to have it corrected. It was only when the scan before the operation took place, the doctors found something no one wants to find. The cancer had come back for the third time.
A tough 12 weeks of proton therapy in America followed before Esther was once again given the all clear. In July last year, she was finally able to have her spinal surgery and it has been wonderful to see her in less pain with her back since. Visiting her in hospital in London, looking forward to the future, made me cry.
A month or so back she told me that her back had been hurting again; she had slipped over and thought this was probably why. Then a rather large lump appeared on her neck, her breastbone as we later found out. “It’s nothing,” she told me. “The doctor says it’s nothing to worry about, it’s just from where I had that fall and it’s just displaced fluid.”
I felt it, asked if it was painful to which Esther said no. “No, not really!”
The following Monday, everything changed.
Esther started radiotherapy the following week in an attempt to shrink the tumour on her neck and the one on her spine. The one on her spin was of the greatest concern because of how close it was to her vital nerves.
My friends and I often tell her how brave she is; because Esther is insane. Not once has she complained or questioned why me. Putting others before herself, she has been relentless in the past month. In fact, all of the time.
The prognosis isn’t good, but Esther has kicked this diseases’ ugly butt three times already. Who is to say that she can’t do it a fourth time?
I wanted to take this opportunity to publically say what an inspiration Esther Greene is. She is kind-hearted, caring, funny, and the most thoughtful person I know. Her amazing Christian faith has kept her and her family – two sisters, a brother, and her parents – strong through these dark times showing there is light even in the most horrendous circumstances.
On Saturday, a ‘Coffee Morning for Esther’ was held. It started out being a small-scale event but it quickly snowballed into a huge fundraiser to make as much money as possible in order for Esther to do her bucket list.
On it, items include going to Sixth Form Prom, with hair, and attending Cambridge University.
Yes, that is right. Despite missing nearly half of her A Level studies and critical points of her GCSEs, Esther holds a conditional offer for the University of Cambridge to study Modern and Medieval languages. If that is not breathtaking, I do not know what is.
In a short space of time, over £8,800 has been raised for her and her family, by loved ones, friends, and complete strangers. It is completely fair to say that the support Esther has received has been overwhelming but, of course, greatly deserved.
Whilst the future may be uncertain for Esther, she is going to live life to the maximum whilst she can. She’s is truly an extraordinary young lady, fighting this battle with grace and strength.
I hope you agree with me.
I know people are always being asked to donate to some cause or another, and I go it can get tiring with people always asking you for money. But, if you could spare just £1 for my beautiful friend, I have including a link to the Just Giving page. Thank you x