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Meet Anika Dean, 23 Year-Old AML Survivor from Brisbane

March 19th, 2018 |

by YouCanHQ | Supporter: All Cancers   

We love getting to know new members of the You Can Connect community! Anika is a 23 year old AML survivor who recently joined the community. We asked her a few questions about her experience to get to know her better. Keep reading, and then send her a connection request here!

YCC: How old were you when you were first diagnosed?
AD: I was 20 years old when diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.

YCC: How did you find out about your diagnosis?
AD: I was pregnant with my son at the time. After falling over at work, I was rushed to the hospital where I was told I had become anemic. However as soon as I told the nurses about my family history of Leukaemia, they investigated.

YCC: Were you familiar with cancer prior to your diagnosis?
AD: I'm the 4th person in my family to have an AML diagnosis. My father is in remission 17 years and my two Aunties who also had AML are no longer with us.

YCC: What was the hardest part about being a young adult who was just diagnosed with cancer?
AD: For me it was especially hard because I was pregnant. When I told my friends, family and workplace that I was pregnant and had cancer, their reactions were just horrific.

YCC: Were you able to connect with anyone else your age with your diagnosis?
AD: No, there was no one my age at all.

YCC: Is there anything that you are grateful to have learned through cancer?
AD: I am grateful for my donor, if it wasn't for them I wouldn’t be here. I learnt so much about blood and how it works also learnt a lot about NICU and premature babies.

YCC: What has life after cancer been like for you?
AD: Since treatment I have become healthy again and enjoying being a mother. It’s been one heck of a journey but I wouldn’t change what’s happened to me for the world.

YCC: What would you tell another young adult who was just diagnosed with AML?
AD: Be patient and positive, there's a light at the end of this dark tunnel and it may seem like it's taking forever but trust me, this is just the beginning of your new life.

Great advice, Anika! Thank you so much for sharing. We are so glad that you have found the YCC community.

Click here to connect with Anika.

My fiancé and I before the diagnosis.

We found the cancer while I was pregnant. This is the night before my son was born at 29 weeks .

Mum and I shaved our heads because my hair began falling out.

Transplant day 04/11/2016.

My son and I. He was 18 months here.

For my wish with the Starlight Foundation my fiancé and I went for a holiday to the Whitsundays in January 2018.

Click here to connect with Anika.

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YouCanHQ's picture

We’re the people working behind the scenes to make You Can Connect the best it can be for you. We thought we’d make our own profile to introduce ourselves in case you haven’t heard of You Can. Back in 2010, Sony Foundation Australia launched You Can to address a gap in the medical system to support adolescent and young adults with cancer in Australia. We raise funds and build You Can youth cancer centres across the country to provide a space in hospitals that is just for young people to ensure care and support is tailored towards YOU, not children, and not old people, YOU. Feel free to drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.