CanTeen Bandanna Day: Teen’s shock after chest pain

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Bec Sampson was just 17 when she was sent home from hospital, with doctors putting her chest pain down to a bit of reflux.

The Perth teen had just had her year 12 formal and woke up one night with bad chest pain.

“I just ignored it but in the morning it was getting worse,” she said.

“My mum wanted to keep me from school but I loved school and wanted to catch up on the goss from the ball.

“I was having trouble breathing so mum took me to hospital but everything looked fine and they thought it was reflux.”

Bec Sampson was diagnosed with leukaemia at 17.
media_cameraBec Sampson was diagnosed with leukaemia at 17.

Later that day Ms Sampson got a call to return to hospital when she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“I obviously didn’t expect it to be anything too bad,” she said.

“I was very healthy and the chest pain had gone away by then.

“I was admitted to hospital straight away that night and started chemo three days later.”

Ms Sampson was in hospital for a month, and then had intensive chemotherapy for eight months, spending most days either at the hospital or at home getting treatment.

The university student, now 22, did basic school subjects from home so she could still graduate with her friends, which was really important to her.

She continued with monthly treatment for two years.

“Since then I’ve been doing really well,” she said.

She had to undergo eight months on intensive chemotherapy.
media_cameraShe had to undergo eight months on intensive chemotherapy.
Now 22, she’s doing fine and studying at university.
media_cameraNow 22, she’s doing fine and studying at university.

Ms Sampson has been a CanTeen member, which supports young people affected by cancer, for nearly six years and will be selling bandannas on Bandanna Day this Friday.

“When I was first diagnosed I signed up I got some resources and counselling which was really helpful having a major cancer diagnosis when you’re that young,” she said.

“It’s quite daunting meeting new people while there’s so much going on but it was super lovely, everyone understands.”

Ms Sampson is also in CanTeen’s youth leadership team.

“I think it’s really important because being young other people don’t always get it,” she said.

“It’s quite hard to understand unless you’ve been through something similar.

“Cancer as a young person is a really isolating experience and it’s important to have people who get what you’re going through.”

To buy a bandana visit CanTeen’s website.

Originally published as Healthy teen’s shock after chest pain

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