Summary: Earlier this year, 22-year-old Callum from Chester had to interrupt his 4th year of studies at Durham University due to a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis.
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Incredibly passionate about his major, History and French, Callum began to feel extremely unwell right in the middle of preparing his dissertation. By the end of April he had received his official diagnosis, and due to being diagnosed at a fairly late stage of the cancer, had to be treated with chemotherapy sessions almost immediately. Callum was left with no choice but to move back home to receive medical treatment and support from his parents. Despite the severe side effects of chemotherapy, he amazingly managed to complete his university work in between treatments. He hopes to be cleared of cancer by the beginning of next year, and to celebrate his graduation with a trip to Venice.
For a young person in the middle of their university career, receiving a sudden cancer diagnosis is extremely tough. One of the worst side effects of chemotherapy—besides changing Callum’s appearance-- was the effect it had on his immune system. He had to observe a special diet, avoid travel and public transport. Although he feels very fortunate due to the support he received from his parents in the past year, Callum was unable to see his friends, which was particularly isolating.
Despite the difficulties he has endured in the past year, Callum’s optimism and shining spirit are impossible to ignore. Now that he has finished his chemotherapy sessions, he is by no means completely back to normal, but is looking forward to getting his graduation certificate shortly after Christmas. Moreover, after hopefully getting cleared of cancer during his follow up appointments in the next few months, he dreams of travelling to Venice, which has been his dream destination for as long as he can remember.
Callum says, “During my cancer treatments, I lost a lot of the independence I had begun to gain as a university student. A trip to Venice, with its incredibly inspiring history and architecture (not to mention amazing food!) would give a great boost to me and my parents, whom I would love to thank for their generous support during the last year”.
Callum also cherishes the opportunity to help other young children with serious conditions and was recently involved in the publicity for our Heaton Park Halloween Run in Manchester. We had an amazing turnout of over 500 people for this fundraising event.
Richard Ashton, chief executive Dreams Come True said, “An experience such as a trip to Venice would allow Callum to celebrate the University graduation he overcame so many obstacles to achieve. As a History & French student, he will surely be inspired by Venice’s world-famous surroundings, which will also help him to reflect on his future plans. We would love to provide a lifelong memory for Callum and his family to cherish, and would be grateful for any support you can give towards fulfilling his well-deserved dream”.