London

Shine London was born when Shine's directors, Emma and Ceinwen, met and discussed expanding the original networks around Dorset into new and unchartered territories! It was clear that the gap in support that was plugged by Shine in Dorset was also the case round much of the country. Shine London was officially launched as a network in 2010 and was run by Ceinwen and Christopher until 2017 when they handed the baton over to Clare, Jess, Rae and Conor. What started as a few members has now grown to over three hundred and fifty!

Shine London aims to offer support and identification to young adults in London living with a cancer diagnosis. However, we also try to be more than just your average support group. We aim to organise meet ups that appeal to younger adults; you're more likely to find us killing it at a pub quiz or taking advantage of east London's nightlife than sitting quietly discussing our diagnoses. This means we can talk about our experiences when we want to but there is no obligation to do so - at our meet ups you just know you're with people who get it.

We try to meet once or twice a month - mixing up evening and daytime meet ups. We are really keen to take full advantage of all the amazing things London has to offer and try to mix up the types of locations and activities we take part in. We try and vary which part of London we meet in too to give everyone the opportunity to have easier access to our meet ups. We always welcome suggestions for things you'd like to do. And we totally understand that attending a meet up can be daunting at first so are happy to meet you beforehand to reassure you and give you someone to walk in with! We also hold a friends and family picnic in the summer in one of our beautiful parks and an annual fundraiser to help support the work the network do.

Meet the volunteer Network Leaders!

Clare: Hi, I'm Clare and I started as a network leader for London having seen the work Shine was doing first hand and wanting to get involved. I found that for a long time after treatment I didn't talk to anyone who had been through something similar. It's easy to feel like you're the only one going through it and I was really keen to make sure other people didn't have to feel like that. I also love a good chat over a cuppa! 
 
I was diagnosed with a Ewings osteosarcoma when I was 17 and had surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a stem cell transplant. It was one of the toughest few years I've been through and I'm incredibly lucky to have been in remission a long time now. However, the long term effects of my treatment have been quite profound and now I manage incurable and progressive lung disease as a result. So I'm still a regular visitor to hospital and have become quite involved in trying to change the way people with acute and long term conditions are treated. I love the fact that Shine is led by people who have been through treatment themselves and it's a way of feeling supported without relying on even more health care professionals! 
 
Jess: I’m Jess, and I joined the Shine London team in 2017 as I wanted to help more people like me through the amazing work Shine Cancer Support does.  I was lucky to find Shine two months after I was diagnosed with a really rare chronic Non Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2015 called Waldenströms Macroglobulinaemia.  My cancer is most common in elderly men – not my people! The problems that I was facing (fertility, dating, paying a mortgage, working full time etc) didn’t affect them and I felt totally lost – until I found Shine.  Here I have met other young people with chronic cancer, and made some incredible friendships.  I no longer feel alone, and I know that whatever my treatment throws at me, one of my Shine friends will have been there already. Chronic cancers are quite different, and although my cancer is incurable, it is treatable.  I live with inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis and depression too, so sometimes practically live at my local hospital! I’ve finished 2.5 years of chemo and am now back on watch and wait.  Cancer will always be part of me and my life, and through my work as a network leader, I hope to help other young people get the support they need from people who really “get it”.
 
Conor: 

Hey there, I’m Conor and I became a network leader for London in January, 2019. I had been attending various Shine events for a couple of years and was thrilled to be asked to get even more involved. We don’t all have friendship groups that allow us to feel comfortable talking about the more serious aspects of our treatment and recovery (I certainly didn’t) and so Shine has been very impactful in my life in that regard. 

A month before my 25th birthday, I was diagnosed with a Ewing’s Sarcoma in my rib. A tumor the size of a melon had formed. During my 9 months of treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiotherapy and major surgery, I didn’t meet a single person close in age to myself who had or was experiencing something similar. Within hours of my first Shine event, I met my friend and fellow network leader Clare, whose story isn’t so dissimilar from my own. If you’re feeling down on your luck and that there’s no one out there who could possibly know what you’re going through, well you may be right, but you should also consider coming to a Shine event and hearing first hand about all the unusual and remarkable stories people have to share about themselves.  

 
 
 
 
 
If you’d like to get in touch, drop them an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and say hi! 
 
 

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