Programmes

We know that having cancer at a young age can be isolating and lonely - and we’re working to change that. We have lots of ways to meet other young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer either online or in person.

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Support us

As a small charity, we rely on donations and sponsorship to deliver our life-changing programmes and activities. Fancy helping us out? You can help make a big difference to the young adults living with a cancer diagnosis!

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All about Shine

Shine is working to create a community of young adults with cancer. All of our work is designed to bring people closer together and ensure that they get the support the need. No one needs to go through cancer alone.

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Why Shine?

Shine exists exclusively to support adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have experienced a cancer diagnosis. There is never a good time to have cancer, but we know that younger adults face different issues than their older or younger counterparts - and that many of these are not dealt with by traditional cancer support charities and services.

  • Our vision is that every adult in the UK living with cancer in their 20s, 30s or 40s can access the help and support that they need in a way that suits their lifestyle, and that they are a part of a confident, supportive and empowered community of young adults living with cancer.
  • Our mission is to provide tailored information and peer support for anyone in their 20s, 30s or 40s diagnosed with any cancer. We do this through a range of activities including lunches and drinks evenings, beach walks, multi-day getaways, workshops, online networking, and mentoring.

 

 

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Want to meet up with other younger adults facing cancer? Our Networks are not typical support groups: we don’t meet in hospitals, there is no set agenda, and we never sit around in a circle ‘sharing’! Our Shine Networks meet up on a regular basis for drinks, dinner, beach walks, bowling and more. And as a bonus, Shine always buys the first round! Check out our list of Networks below. No Network near you? Join us online and see if you can find others that way!

Events organised by our local networks are promoted through their email lists.  Find out what's happening in your local area: 

localevents

 

When were you diagnosed and what with?

I was diagnosed properly in January 2016 when I was 28 years old, although it took a number of months to obtain the diagnosis.  I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

How did you find out you had cancer?

I had a cough that wouldn’t go away for months and months. I went to see my GP many times and at first they thought I had stomach acid or asthma. Eventually I was sent for a chest X-Ray where they discovered a mass in my chest.

What did you think and feel when you were diagnosed?

I was really shocked. I felt really scared and worried and sometimes couldn’t help but think the worst. Not long after that though I found some sort of positivity that just told me I was going to be fine and I would get better.

How did the people around you react? 

My family were really sad, as was my husband. But everyone kept as strong as they could to help support each other. Keeping positive was hugely helpful for me and all my friends and family. I could not have done it without them. 

What treatment did you have?

I had ABVD chemotherapy for 4 cycles and then radiotherapy. I also had a PICC line put in to assist with the chemotherapy. 

How did you feel through treatment? 

After a few sessions of chemo I felt quite ill. I am a big fan of food but I went off all the things I normally really enjoy! I also felt quite sick and tried a few different types of anti-sickness tablets. They really made a difference.

What happened after treatment finished? 

It took me some time to start to feel myself again as I was quite tired and worn out. I tried to keep as busy as I could and had lots of visitors and days out. I just wanted to be as normal as possible again. My consultant confirmed that I was in remission in August 2016 and I’ve been celebrating since!

How did you get involved with Shine?

I found the facebook group because I felt very different to everyone else at the chemotherapy unit. Everyone was much, much older than me and it seemed like they felt awkward talking to me because I was so young. I started Googling for support groups and found Shine.

What difference has Shine made to you?

Shine really help because it means I’m able to talk to people in very similar situations to me, who really understand. It was exactly what I needed. Other people could try but it wasn’t the same. It has been an incredible support to me and still is now. I have made great friends through Shine.

How do you feel now about your experiences? What‘s been the biggest change you’ve faced?

I feel very grateful for everything. I do feel like a different person. I am more outgoing and try my best not to take things for granted. I am also trying to be much healthier and take care of myself. It’s important. 

If you could give one piece of advice to yourself before your what would it be?

Perhaps to not blame myself for getting cancer. For ages I thought about all the reasons why I got ill and things I might have done to mean I ended up with cancer. But really, that doesn’t matter. Have a positive attitude and it makes so much difference.