A STUDENT who was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 18 has fought back to beat the disease and will take part in the Great South Run for the charity that helped her.
Danielle Reynolds, now 21, was forced to cancel her place at Portsmouth University when she was given the devastating news that she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The teen underwent gruelling chemotherapy treatment over six months, which included the loss of her hair, as well as the huge emotional strain of being diagnosed with cancer at such a young age.
But brave Danielle beat the disease and a scan after the treatment showed that she was in remission. She was able to attend university just one year later than planned and is now in her second year of studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at Portsmouth.
Danielle will take part in the Great South Run for the first time this October to raise money for Bloodwise, the charity that supported her during her diagnosis and treatment.
She said: ‘Battling cancer made me the strong person that I am today.
‘Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought at such a young age I would be diagnosed with cancer, not at one point between finding the lump and the consultant telling me what the diagnosis was did that ever enter my mind.
‘Cancer is hard, the diagnosis, the treatment, the hair loss, the recovery – not only a physical challenge but a mental one too.
‘I’d never be able to begin to explain the rollercoaster of emotions I went through but the important thing is I was lucky. I was lucky enough to be diagnosed early on and even luckier that my treatment was successful and I’m proud to be able to say that I have been in remission for two years.’
Danielle said the support of Bloodwise, which introduced her to other patients who were of a similar age and had the same diagnosis, was a huge step in helping her during her treatment.
‘I was really lucky that the doctors managed to catch the disease early and unfortunately it isn’t the case with others,’ she said.
‘I’ll be running to raise money for those who are in the situation that I am very familiar with.’
The Great South Run will see thousands of people run 10 miles across Portsmouth on October 23.
The weekend will also see a junior and mini Great South Run held and the Great South Run 5k. Enter now at greatrun.org/south.