Milford woman Nikki Bradley was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer diagnosis in 2002
A Donegal woman, recognised for her bravery in surviving and dealing with Cancer, will speak about her experience of the illness in a ground-breaking new Podcast series.
‘Gold Ribbon Conversations Podcast’, focusing on the lived experiences of people affected by Childhood Cancer is being launched to coincide with the inaugural CAYAS Childhood, Adolescent, Young Adult and Survivorship Conference in Ireland which take place on September 11.
Up to 400 children and young people are diagnosed with Cancer in Ireland each year.
Milford woman Nikki Bradley was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer diagnosis (Ewing’s Sarcoma) in 2002, at just 16 years of age. She has had two hip replacements. She has taken on the four Irish mountain peaks challenge, completing it in 32 hours. She travelled to Iceland in February 2016 to scale the Sólheimajökull glacier and also completed the ‘Fan Dance’ - a 24km trek through the Brecon Beacons in Wales. She completed all of these challenges on crutches.
The now 35 year old said: “I think this Podcast series and the inaugural CAYAS Conference are so incredibly important.
“Both will focus on the vastly differing experiences people have of Cancer; people like me who are survivors, parents, people who have sadly been bereaved ; no one experience is entirely the same and it is crucial that all the different perspectives are heard.
Nikki Bradley who performed the official start of the 2019 RunDonegal Women’s 5K pictured with race organisers
“Both the Gold Ribbon Conversations Podcast and CAYAS are the perfect platforms”.
She continued: “It is so important that people who are grappling with a Cancer diagnosis are given as much information as possible and are aware of the numerous supports that are in place to help them on an ongoing basis. There are huge advances being made in research and this offers real hope for people”.
Nikki believes that the Gold Ribbon Conversations Podcast and the CAYAS Conference are timely given the various challenges thrown up by the pandemic.
Describing how it has impacted her, Nikki fervently believes that there are lots of people for whom life is difficult enough following a cancer diagnosis and this is being exacerbated by Covid.
“Well, speaking for myself yes, Covid has presented me with a whole new set of challenges. It set me back a lot as I couldn’t get on with my usual training and this affected me physically, emotionally and mentally.
“Physically my pain went through the roof and mentally I definitely had some dark moments. I know I’m not on my own on this, Covid has affected all of us to some degree or another but I’m passionate about those grappling with Cancer and that is why I’m speaking about the Podcast and CAYAS Conference as both offer such opportunities for information and a spirit of togetherness”.
“People don’t have to go through cancer alone”.
Nikki is candid about her prognosis ,acknowledging that she faces losing her leg as a result of Ewing’s Sarcoma. While this “terrifies” her she is hopeful she will meet this eventual challenge head on, like all the others she has risen to.
“I am now working with some engineers in Birmingham who are looking at ways they can create a custom made extension for my leg in a bid to give me a few more years with my right leg.
“I know I will lose it one day, amputation is a certainly and while this is a terrifying prospect, other people have come though it with flying colours.
“Ultimately getting sick was the making of me. It gave me an outlook on life that I otherwise may not have had”.
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