STORIES > ZEENA BEALE

It’s just stress, it’s just stress' I kept telling myself. Cambridge is always stressful, and stress can manifest itself in strange, bizarre ways with your body right?

It’s perfectly reasonable to be really tired all the time, to get run-down and develop a dry cough. And according to NHS Choices, back in 2013, night sweats 'are an embarrassing yet often harmless condition', so why would I need to worry about something that is 'harmless', let alone mention to anyone about this 'embarrassing' condition?

But this wasn’t your average fresher’s flu you get in your first year of uni. The reason for why I was so tired, losing so much weight and turned a greenish shade of pale was because I had rabid Stage 2b Hodgkin’s Lymphoma coursing through my lymphatic system.

Naturally, this is not what you expect to happen in your first year at uni, and for me, it just seemed like a particularly cruel time to get cancer- I’d just gained my eagerly anticipated independence, made loads of new friends, and was ready for tons of new experiences. But it was all brought to a crashing halt.

Two and a half years in remission later, I’m now in my final year and have set up CATS - the Cancer Awareness in Teenagers and Young People Society- in Cambridge. Some might think I’m a little mad to set up a society in my final year.

But to be honest, I feel that if I left Cambridge without making a significant effort to raise awareness, I would have been very disappointed. You never know who might need help at any given moment.

Zeena Beale

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