Read their stories!

Why I Relay, Cillian's Story

06 Mar 2020

My name is Cillian Condon. I am a 9 year old twin to my brother Oisin. I was diagnosed with T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in March 2018.

It was the time the snow was bad and I thought i had a cold from the snow but I couldn't sleep at night or move much because I thought I was being squashed on my chest. I couldn't eat, everything was scratchy. We went to the hospital and they found a large tumour pressing on my heart and windpipe. I couldn't lay down flat as the tumour was so big it was causing me to loose my breath. I had to sleep upright in a special bed for 2 weeks. 

I don't remember my first few days in hospital. The first thing I remember was when my mum explained what was wrong with me. The nurses said my hair could fall out but it might come back a different colour and I was hoping it would come back blue! I had to get a chest drain and they drained 2 litres of fluid off one lung. I ripped the first drain out in ICU because I was upset about not being able to walk. After a week I got to start my chemotherapy after my Freddy was put into my chest.  We then moved down to the St. Johns oncology ward. My brother made me a crown which said King Cillian and I wore it going down to the ward.  It was nice in St. Johns and the playroom had a huge TV. After 15 days I was allowed home.  It was hard because I wasn't allowed to go back to school or have visitors. I was on high dose steroids and I couldn't walk, I was in a wheelchair.

My stepdad Richie had to carry me up to the toilet and to bed as I couldn't walk (it was hard for him because I got very big like a balloon) After about 5 weeks my hair started to fall out so I shaved it off and it felt cool.  My eyelashes falling out was sore as my eyes kept filling up with them. After 8 weeks in I started feeling stronger and played some football with my brother.

People were very supportive and kind to me.  Things got easier over time. My mum heard of Relay for life and wanted to help and meet other people in our situation. We met Gay in Tesco and had a coffee. She explained that I could be a survivor and show people why we Relay. We wanted to get involved and help every body battling cancer young and old and give back to the charity that helped us at the start of treatment.

Relay to me is like a circus of emotions and fun. I like that all the survivors get together and the songs they play.  I like to show Cancer that we are kicking its butt together. This is why I Relay.