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TR Press UK - 29-06-2019
“It is not humane to be so young and know that you are going to die.”
Tour de Paris 2019 has officially started, as a total of 54 teams from seven different countries began their journey towards the French capital. Eyes filled with tears and emotions ran high as the team made their first stop at the Children and Youth Hospital in Lund, where they visited children currently fighting for their lives.
Close to 50 yellow-clad cyclists gathered outside the hospital to show their support to the children and families currently admitted to the children’s cancer ward. They were joined by family and friends who wanted to give their relatives a hug and wish them good luck.
Miranda beat her cancer
18-year-old Miranda Nyman was one of the spectators who came to show her support for the cyclists. Just one month ago, she was also one of the patients in the children’s cancer ward, waiting and hoping that the chemotherapy would work.
In November last year, after months of breathing difficulties and several hospital visits, she was given the diagnosis that most of us fear – cancer. Only 17 years old, she was told she was suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“If the cancer had not been discovered by the doctors, the tumours would have choked me from the inside by the end of the year. To know that is terrifying,” says Miranda.
Knowing you are going to die
Thanks to successful research, almost 100 percent of all children diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma survive. But that isn’t the case for all diagnoses of cancer.
“I sometimes feel that it is unfair that I get to live, when some of the others that I know won’t get that chance. It is not humane to be so young and know that you are going to die.”
Miranda says that, during her treatment, she got to know several other children and young people who unfortunately did not survive the disease, and two of the girls treated at the same time as Miranda were buried only yesterday.
“It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up yesterday,” she says. “It is so unfair that one of the girls didn’t even get the chance to start preschool,” she says, referring to one of the girls who passed away before her seventh birthday.
Miranda says that even though her treatment is over, there is still concern. Both for herself and for her friends who are still being treated.
“The scary part is that things can change so quickly, and you never know how you will respond to the treatment. Amanda, a good friend of mine, is currently undergoing treatment for three different types of cancer at the same time. I think of her every day,” she says.
Erik is supporting Stefan from his hospital bed
13-year-old Erik is also battling cancer, but today he has made his way down from the ward especially to support one of his friends. Stefan, a close friend, is cycling with this year’s team and Erik has received one of his yellow bike shirts as a gift.
“We are going to have a party!” Erik replies to the question of what he is doing later today.
He has been granted leave and will be going home to have a party with his family and relatives. When Erik’s mother Anneli told him that their friend Stefan was going to cycle all the way to Paris to raise money for The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund, he was noticeably moved and happy.
A final goodbye and onward towards Germany
After colourful balloons filled the sky and family and friends have said their goodbyes, the TRGM journey continues to Nova Lund shopping centre. Miranda, who is celebrating her 18th birthday today, plans to go home to start a fundraiser for The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund on Facebook. Then, she will celebrate.
“Your life can be turned upside down in seconds. Being alive isn’t a given, that’s why you have to live life to the fullest,” she concludes.