Stories of hope for the future

Learn more about people who have been affected by bone cancer. What they go through and how they cope by reading these personal stories from people across the UK and Ireland.

Adrian Smith
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
In January/February 2010, at the age of 25, I was diagnosed with a Ewing’s Sarcoma in my left foot after I was worried about weakness and swelling in the foot. The problems started in late 2008, I realised when playing rugby my left boot was more stretched than the right and after training/match days swelling increase around my foot.
Aharon Gillie
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
When I was 8, I suffered from Ewing's Sarcoma, this was in February 1990. I went first to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey, and then to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex.
Alison McIvor
Category: osteosarcoma
Alison McIvor is 35 years old. 1n 1993, aged 15, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the right femur. Alison is now in remission and has two ‘miracle’ children. She is proof that there’s life after cancer.
Amanda Orrin
Category: chondrosarcoma
During 2009 I began suffering from shooting pains in my left leg and thigh. After a year of increasing pain and no relief from prescription painkillers, my GP referred my to the Orthopaedic clinic at our local hospital. After a year of worsening pain, I decided that an X-ray or Scan would help find the cause.
Andrew Belshaw
Category: osteosarcoma
I was born in Zambia in 1965 and am the youngest of three boys. My brothers are quite a lot older than me and used to give me grief when I was little. This changed over the years and they became 'extra' fathers for me, guiding me, or trying to, through my teenage years.
Barbara Mockford
Category: osteosarcoma
Barbara was raised on a farm in Puahue, Waikato, New Zealand. In 2007, Barbara was diagnosed with bone cancer. Today, she is cancer-free and sharing her inspirational story.
Cara Yapp
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
At the age of 26 I was happily living my life, living with my boyfriend, working as a primary school teacher and enjoying life with friends and family. Living the life of any 26 year old girl. Then my whole world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in my left femur in April 2009 after experiencing pains in my knee.
Carol Starkey
Category: osteosarcoma
My story begins in February 2006, (I was 18) when I started to notice an ache in my right shoulder. At the time I thought this was odd, I did not remember doing anything to cause the pain which felt like a pulled muscle. I am a very active person and so it was likely I had done something and not even realized. I was also preparing for my grade 8 Flute exam so also considered I had been practicing too much.
Caroline Smail
Category: osteosarcoma
When I was eleven I had cancer. Since then I have had numerous operations and spent more time in hospital than anywhere else. Last year an infection generated from a dog bite resulted in the amputation of my left leg after which I was lucky enough to meet with a number of injured soldiers who have inspired me to raise funds to help those injured in the line of duty.
Chris Chapman
Category: osteosarcoma

My bone cancer story began in February 2008, when at the age of 15, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and later that year, I had an 'above the knee' amputation. It has been an incredible four and a half years since I was first diagnosed, but something very good has come out of something quite terrible. I want to show that after a life changing illness, life has not ended, but is beginning.

Ciara Hoolahan
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
Hello my name is Ciara Hoolahan and I am going to share my story about me having Ewing's Sarcoma when I was just 7 and even my story after that. I am now 18 years of age but it all started back in 1995 when I was just a young girl of 7.
Claire Burgess
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
I was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma at the age of 20. I first started noticing the pain when I fell over on a night out and could hardly move. I thought I'd sleep it off but the pain got worse and I eventually was told I had cancer.
Dan Claydon
Category: osteosarcoma
After a weekend trip to London, Dan noticed he was experiencing pain in his leg and took a trip to the drop-in doctor who diagnosed him with water on the knee. But two weeks later, the lump had not disappeared and he was sent for an X-ray which confirmed his worst fears – that he had osteosarcoma. Here he tells us how important support from others helped him to get through gruelling treatment and decision to have his leg amputated when the tumour returned.
Edwin Cheung
Category: osteosarcoma
Having just graduated from University and now looking for employment, my time at Llandough hospital seems a distant memory away. It was back in May 2002, where I noticed a lump above my left ankle forming. Being a normal active teenager, I thought my lump was a result of a nasty tackle in football and unfortunately, I ignored the issue. It was eventually in mid August, where I saw my local GP as I developed extreme throbbing pains near the lump.
Elwin Underwood
Category: osteosarcoma
In 1953, at the age of 17 I began to feel discomfort in my right knee joint. I saw the doctor several times and was treated for various muscular complaints. Around this time, I went to watch a motorcar race and had to walk several miles. The next day my thigh had swollen and was tender. I saw my doctor and was sent for an X-ray which revealed an osteosarcoma of the thigh bone.
Euan Vernon
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
Euan's story began in March 2003 when his reception class teacher telephoned to say he was holding his right arm in a strange way. Being a nurse I took him to the hospital where I worked and asked them for an X ray. A colleague had the difficult task of telling me she thought he had Ewing's sarcoma. He was four years old.
Ffion Miles
Category: osteosarcoma
I was first diagnosed with retinoblastoma (eye cancer) when I was a baby. I had one eye removed and radiotherapy on the other and I still have some useful vision in that eye.
But what my parents weren't told ? and perhaps this wasn't widely known then (though I do think my GP could have been a bit more switched on) - is that genetic bilateral retinoblastoma can mean you are at higher risk of having other cancers, most probably an osteosarcoma as a teenager.
Florencia Pistritto
Category: osteosarcoma
Florencia’s tumour had been growing for a year before she was finally diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her left knee. Her diagnosis came after months of experiencing pain and being given painkillers by her doctor. Here she describes her treatment and what has inspired her to keep fighting this brutal disease.
Hannah Millington
Category: osteosarcoma
In 2007, at the age of twenty five I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my right knee. To say that being diagnosed with cancer came as a thunderbolt would be an understatement; it was more like an almighty bulldozer that came crashing down right in the middle of my life, smashing it apart.
Helen Hutchison
Category: chondrosarcoma

One day, I tell myself, I will sit down and relax… watch some telly, read a book... when I'm on top of stuff. When I've done everything I need to do.

But I never seem to get there. These days I'm on a bit of mission.

Jacky Broersma
Category: Ewing's Sarcoma
When I was 26 I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. At the time I was living in Holland and had just started a new job and I was doing really well, so life just couldn’t get any better.
Jamie Wood
Category: Ewings sarcoma
My son Jamie is a very keen, fit and talented boxer who has been boxing since he was 10 years old. He didn’t have much luck four years ago though, having a quad bike accident resulting in him breaking his wrist, he had to take two years out from boxing.
Jan McKay
Category: Pleomorphic sarcoma
Jan is 53 years old. On Monday 11 October 2010 she was driving to Stanmore Orthopaedic Hospital for the results of a biopsy, there’d been an accident on the M25 leaving her stationary in traffic. She knew she wouldn’t make her appointment in time and called the hospital to rearrange. When they said "come anyway, it doesn’t matter what time you get here”", Jan had her first inkling that the news might not be good!
Jon Bradshaw
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
Breaking my right femur at the age of 22 following a prank with friends turned out to be the luckiest break of my life. An X-ray of my leg immediately revealed a suspected tumour and weeks later doctors told me I had Ewing’s sarcoma. Thirty-four years later I am still a survivor with an awful lot to be thankful for.
Katherine Hendrix
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
In August 2007 our oldest daughter, Katherine had just begun her first year in nursery. She was enrolled to attend 3 morning sessions per week with the intension of extending her time at school during the course of the year. She had always been a healthy and active little girl who participated in a number of activities in and around Stirling including Active Stirling's jumping beans classes and Musical Minor's in Bridge of Allan.
Katie Brooman
Category: osteosarcoma
I had been having pain in my knee for 4 - 5 years, I went to my GP for the first time about my knee in January 2004 and he referred me directly to physio without doing any tests or x- rays, I tried that physio for about a year but due to moving house and the exercises not doing a thing I gave up.
Kelly Cumming
Category: osteosarcoma
I found a lump on my shin and after visiting the doctors twice I was referred for an x-ray and I got told I had a tumour but they needed to know if it was malignant. A biopsy confirmed I had an osteosarcoma in my shin bone and I was told that my leg may need to be amputated. I started chemo on the 7th of August 2003 and had 3 sessions before my operation on the 16th of October 2003.
Laura Connolly
Category: chondrosarcoma
Nothing prepares you to be told at the age of 34 that it’s very likely you have cancer. The news came a few months after I first found a hard lump just below my right breast. I had to have surgery to remove the tumour from my ribs and insert a prosthesis. It has seemed a long and at times frustrating road to recovery – mainly due to my impatience and drive to get back to a normal life as soon as I could.
Liam Fox
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
My story starts way back in the spring of 1989. I was a fairly active kid and used to play football & cricket on a regular basis and I also used to be able to run like the clappers (especially when being chased round the cul-de-sac by our neighbour's adorable Alsatian) when I began to feel sharp stabbing pains in my knee.
Malcolm Ramsey
Category: High grade spindle cell sarcoma
Malcolm is 74 years old. In 2006 aged 68 he was diagnosed with a high grade spindle sarcoma in leg. Over the last six years he has had numerous operations and gruelling chemotherapy. During this time Malcolm has never given up; he believes this coupled with the wonderful, kind and considerate doctors and his amazing family and support is what has helped him beat primary bone cancer.
Marc Woods
Category: osteosarcoma
I was 17 when I was diagnosed with bone cancer and had a below the knee amputation. That was 22 years ago now and over the years I have come to realise that I am capable of doing anything that I put my mind to. However, when I first got diagnosed I didn't really know what being an amputee would mean to me. What would I be able to do and not do?
Megan Blunt
Category: osteosarcoma
My name is Megan and I'm 15 years old. I was diagnosed with an Osteosarcoma in November 2004. I initially went to my local Casualty as I was having difficulty walking, standing for long periods of time and getting up off the floor after assemblies. Also I would scream involuntarily if my leg was knocked.
Mike Padden
Category: chondrosarcoma
Mike Padden is no stranger to cancer, having lost many of his loved ones to the disease over the years. Here he recalls the devastating moment he learned in December 2013 he had chondrosarcoma and how he coped with the first few days of knowing he had primary bone cancer.
Nick Bones
Category: osteosarcoma
My story starts in the autumn of 1986 when I was 13. I was a very active sportsman playing football for both school and local teams. I was also undertaking trails for Scunthorpe United junior teams. I was always getting knocks and bruises that usually healed very quickly.
Peter Sykes
Category: osteosarcoma
Peter Sykes’ story shows just why it is so important to push for a second opinion if you’re experiencing persistent pain. Here he recalls the moment doctors told him he had osteosarcoma and how he has fought back against the many challenges which come with having cancer.
Ruth Flanagan
Category: Ewing's Sarcoma
I had always been well as a child; I grew very tall very quickly, way ahead of my friends. At the age of 15 I began to get terrible pains in my leg. The pain was intermittent but when it did come it was excruciating and there was nothing I could do to relieve it. This pain came and went sometimes lasting weeks; it started as a sharp tooth ache pain in my back and snaked down my leg into my foot.
Sally Young
Category: osteosarcoma
I was 26 years old and happily planning my wedding when I first started getting a dull pain in my right knee. At first the pain came and went but when it became more persistent I went to my GP. He put it down to a sports injury (I was a keen salsa dancer), but eventually my knee became so swollen and red that I could barely walk and I insisted on an x-ray.
Samantha Coleman
Category: chondrosarcoma
My name is Samantha Coleman and this is the story of my war against Chondrosarcoma.
It started on the 9th of June, 2003, when my husband Jon, our 18 month old son and I were walking in the water meadows near Cambridge. I stepped up on to a stile and slipped, spun round in the air, and landed badly on my left hip. This was just the start of long, cruel nightmare.
Sarah Ardrey
Category: osteosarcoma
We were lucky our GP had previously seen a case of bone cancer in her surgery when my daughter Sarah went to see her about pains in her shin bone, She referred her for an X-ray immediately and just months later we received the devastating news she had osteosarcoma. Six years on, Sarah is now a healthy and happy 17-year-old who is hoping to become a primary teacher.
Sharon Taylor
Category: osteosarcoma
My journey began in 2010 when I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my jaw bone. I had to have major reconstructive surgery as well as gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It has not been easy and things will never be the same again. However, it has taught me to appreciate life more and my message to others is to stay positive.
Sharon Woolridge
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
When I started having back pains when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, doctors told me it was sciatica. I never expected the pain would get worse and I’d later be diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Despite having an amputation I have since found a new lease of life and am now a qualified award-winning massage therapist.
Sophie Walton
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
I went to A&E on Boxing Day 2011 when repeated pain in my right foot became so bad I couldn’t walk on it. It wasn’t long before doctors diagnosed me with Ewing’s sarcoma and told me it had already spread to my lungs. I had to go through gruelling chemotherapy and below-knee amputation but I made it through – thanks to the amazing support of my family and friends.
Stephen Phelps
Category: osteosarcoma
It was around March/April time in 2006 when I noticed bending down on my knees used to create a clicking noise every time I got up. I didn't think too much of that really. I just thought it was my body creaking a bit!
Sukina Butcher
Category: osteosarcoma
I remember the day I found out I had cancer like it was yesterday. In 2002 I started to get pain in my right knee which was getting worse. A suspected strained muscle turned out to be osteosarcoma.
I was 22 year old when I was diagnosed. Ten years later I'm free of cancer and my story just proves that strength overcomes adversity.
Tom Sheffle
Category: Ewing's sarcoma
I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma of my left 10th rib in 2009 when I was 22 years old. I had been experiencing pain and swelling around my rib area for about three months which I put down to a sports injury. When over the counter pain relief did not help, I went to see my GP who ordered an X-ray and CT scan.
My diagnosis came as a complete shock but I also know that timely referral and experts care helped to save my life.
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