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Our Young Ambassadors are an integral part of The Brain Tumour Charity. They help us to raise awareness of brain tumours and are passionate about changing the future for those affected.
The two-year Young Ambassador programme is for young adults aged 18-25. We currently have 22 Young Ambassadors along with a team of Young Ambassador Mentors.
Our Young Ambassadors support The Charity in many ways, including:
They have also been involved in developing our new Teenage and Young Adult Service and offer support to other teenagers and young adults affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.
Abigail was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was eight years old. She is passionate about raising awareness and encouraging understanding in others. She has also experienced first-hand gaps in services which is something she is passionate about improving.
"I became a Young Ambassador to speak out and raise awareness. Making it a nicer experience for kids who are going through it at the moment."
Beth was diagnosed with two brain tumours in 2014 while she was studying to become a teacher. She has since had surgery and gamma knife to treat these tumours and is currently on watch and wait. Beth now works as a primary school teacher.
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think," said Christopher Robin to Pooh.
"I am a keen, approachable and an enthusiastic person looking forward to meeting others as a Young Ambassador. I am eager about sharing my story as well as hearing others. I want to be a friendly face people feel that they can talk to!"
"At the age of 18 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After short burst of really intense treatment, I have been left with ongoing medical issues and short term memory problems. Despite that I try hard to not let those things and my ongoing fatigue stop me from trying to experience may things that come my way. The whole journey of being ill has led me in to new experiences and adventures that may not have come my way otherwise."
"In 2014 I was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour. As well as having to come to terms with my diagnosis I was also too ill to complete the final few months of my degree. After treatment I decided that it was vital for me to continue with my life. My first goal was to complete my degree. In 2015 I graduated with a 1st class degree.
"I hope to encourage others like me who are living with cancer to continue with their lives as best as they can. Since my diagnosis I have had endless support from my family and close friends who I know will always remain by my side.
"As a Young Ambassador for the charity I am eager to help and support others with this illness as the support that I have has a significant impact on how I cope with my illness. Sometimes all it takes is to talk to someone who can relate to you which has also helped me over the years. As a Young Ambassador I will always be willing to talk to someone and share experiences and coping mechanisms.
"It's easy to focus on the negatives of having cancer but what we must remember is that we are still here, still alive and still have a life to live. It's down to us how we live our lives and I for one am not letting cancer stop me from living mine. I hope that with the right support it won't stop you from living yours too."
Emma was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 15 years old and spent six months in hospital away from home. She had many complications, one of these being posterior fossa syndrome. Emma has had to relearn lots of things including how to walk, talk, swallow, eat and read.
Emma now loves running and playing sport again. She is determined to reach her goals and never gives up even though sometimes life is tough.
"I'd like to become a Young Ambassador to show other young people where to go and who to turn to. I'd like to help others see that life can get better."
"Brain tumours are more than just statistics, and it is essential that everyone has equal access to a quick diagnosis, and the kind of successful treatment that helped my sister into remission.
"As a Young Ambassador, I want to raise awareness of symptoms, and use my experience to help support those affected on a family level."
"Up to five years old, I was affected by a brain tumour. Today, that tumour has inspired me to get involved in as many of my interests and passions as possible and to share my story, with the help of The Brain Tumour Charity as one of their Young Ambassadors.
"I hope to continue making the most of my life, enjoying its simple pleasures and the more amazing opportunities and I aim to keep volunteering to improve the community around me. I hope that my experience will inform others about the possible signs and symptoms leading to a brain tumour diagnosis, before it is too late like it nearly was for myself. I hope my story about not getting medical help fast enough at first, will raise awareness of brain tumours to doctors today.
"I hope that my passion for volunteering in many ways and my story of survival and hope will inspire others. I hope my story will inspire new victims and their families, to survivors and the general public to enjoy their lives, to get involved in volunteering and to support The Brain Tumour Charity and its fantastic work of raising awareness of this devastating illness."
"I am becoming a Young Ambassador to help raise awareness of the lack of funding brain tumour research receives, as well as to promote The Brain Tumour Charity and all the fab work the people there do! I also want make sure that young people who have been affected by a brain tumour know that they have somewhere they can go and someone to talk to, in order to battle some of the isolation that can come from being affected by brain tumour diagnosis."
"I am joining the Young Ambassador team in memory of my Dad who we lost to a brain tumour in 2012. I would like to spread awareness of the symptoms to look out for and raise funds to help with research into cures and treatments.
"Through sharing my personal story, I hope to support others going through their journeys and give them someone to talk to about all the changes that a brain tumour can bring to individuals, families and emotions. My Dad was always taking part in charity events and putting others before himself and I would love to do the same for the Brain Tumour Charity. My main aim is to raise the profile of the charity to everyone so that more and more people are surviving brain tumours."
Grace was diagnosed with a low grade pilocytic astrocytoma in 2014, and has since filmed vlogs and writes a blog about her experiences.
"I want to share my experience in the hope of helping others, and raise awareness of this enough that it's no longer a so slowly diagnosed illness."
"For my own sake I had to have the 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' attitude. I didn't want to stop laughing or smiling - they're my favourite things to do and not even a brain tumour would stop me.
Nobody knows how they or their bodies will react to something as serious as a cancerous tumour. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would have had to face this in my mid twenties I wouldn't have believed them. I had no reason to. Brain tumours are so common and not enough people know how to spot them. There is no right or wrong way to process or handle having a brain tumour. You're allowed to cry and be angry, but you're also allowed to smile and laugh.
Being a Young Ambassador for the Brain Tumour Charity means that I can offer my positive hand to those who might not yet be able to see their strength for themselves. I want to raise awareness and show brain tumours who's boss."
Jen was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010 and set up her Supporter Group The Jennifer Amy Fund in 2015.
"After founding a supporter group I felt like there was still more I could do - becoming a Young Ambassador means I can help more people with my time. My story inspired me to work to help others affected by this condition."
"The pure unpredictability and many unknowns around brain tumours means a deeper understanding needs to be gained as soon as possible.
"My Dad lost his life in under 10 months after diagnosis - sadly, I've witnessed their detrimental impacts but believe effective research means this won't always be the case."
Jordan was diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma in April 2015 whilst studying business at Bournemouth University. Jordan continued with his exams and had surgery after completing his course. Following his surgery Jordan was left with weakness on his left side and had to relearn how to walk and talk.
During his treatment Jordan began getting into the gym and has since set up his own gym wear business donating some of the profits to Charity.
“I would love to help people who have been affected by brain tumours as much as possible, and try to help to raise money to defeat this silent killer".
"I have decided to become a Young Ambassador because I want to be a face for the charity and to improve diagnoses times of a subject for which I am passionate. I feel strongly that I can help others to feel better when they go through such a traumatic time. I had a brain tumour when I was two years of age and hope to help young people go through their life as it has changed after diagnoses."
Libby has just finished studying applied psychology in Liverpool, her sister Beth (also a Young Ambassador) has had two brain tumour diagnoses.
"I am becoming a Young Ambassador to be on the other side of a charity that has been such a lovely support system to me and my family. I hope to be an extra approachable and smiley individual to raise awareness and give support wherever I can!"
"Following the release of my first publication, I really appreciate this opportunity as the next phase in sharing and establishing further insight, awareness and support. I will be a lifelong ambassador and advocate for people dealing with the complexities of brain tumours and it is truly encouraging to be in such good company in this endeavour."
Nicola was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 and is passionate about support for teenagers and raising awareness.
"With such a high percentage of deaths in Brain Tumour patients, it's so important to accelerate diagnosis time in order to increase survival rates. Raising awareness of the diverse symptoms will help to start earlier treatment and a growing support network will help many young people who are dealing with this illness. Young ambassadors are here to do both of these things and we are hoping to help anyone who needs it!"
Sam works as a Teaching Assistant in Nottingham. She sadly lost her grandfather to a brain tumour in 2015.
"After the diagnosis and passing of my grandad I came to realise that too many people are directly or indirectly affected by a brain tumour diagnosis. Yet not enough people are aware of brain tumour symptoms and the huge negative impact they have on the lives of all those affected.
"In tribute to my grandad and all those who have fought and are fighting, I am committed to being part of the positive impact, dedicated in the journey towards changes in awareness and to finding a cure."
"My father was diagnosed with a Grade 4 brain tumour in September 2006, in my final year at primary school when I was 10 years old. Less than a year after diagnosis, my father passed away in August 2007, a month before myself and my twin sister started secondary school. No child should have to lose their parent.
"I'm a Young Ambassador because I want to help children and young people struggling with the diagnosis of a parent or loved one with a brain tumour and show them that together, we will beat this disease. The diagnosis of a brain tumour can be an isolating experience, but no-one should have to go through it alone."
At 17 Tilly was diagnosed with a brain tumour while studying for her AS levels. After two surgeries she returned to her studies and is now planning to go to university.
"I am looking forward to becoming a Young Ambassador as it gives me a chance to share my experience and use it to help others. I love that I can turn it into something positive."
In 2010, aged 12, Tyler experienced chronic headaches and sickness. After initially being diagnosed with migraines, an MRI scan then revealed a brain tumour. Following his diagnosis, Tyler is determined to raise awareness of brain tumours in children.
"I simply want to help others in my position."
Applications for our next group of Young Ambassadors will open in November 2018.
If you have any questions about our Young Ambassadors Programme please contact Emma Wood, Teenage and Young Adult Worker at The Brain Tumour Charity, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our volunteering pages for details of other voluntary roles at The Brain Tumour Charity. We look forward to working with you.
"Being a Young Ambassador means that I can turn an isolating and negative experience in to a fulfilling one. Brain tumours are underfunded, under researched and under acknowledged, I seek to change this through sharing my story, raising awareness and encouraging people to help fund further research."