A 21-year-old from Salford is looking forward to Christmas festivities having finished her treatment for a rare form of Cancer.

Leyla Soncul was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in her pelvis which effects the bones or tissue around the bones.

Prior to her diagnosis she felt a nerve pain down her leg, it took months for Leyla to find out what was wrong. Her pain was getting considerably worse and this resulted in paying for a scan at private doctors.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions Leyla was diagnosed over the phone she said “I just felt numb, so when I was told I felt as though I was floating in the middle of space. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, my world had been turned upside down.

“It’s awful that I experienced so much pain but because of the symptoms I was having, to finally get a diagnosis and an answer, it was a relief as we can finally do something about it, instead of painkillers”

Leyla was referred straight away to The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist hospital in Manchester. Leyla had to attend all of her appointments alone whilst having 14 rounds of chemotherapy treatment.

She said: “The care at the Christie was honestly so amazing. If I hadn’t been there, I feel like I would have had such more of a rough time

“The staff there are really lovely, everyone made an effort to get to know you and it was like having a friend.”

Head of fundraising at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Louise Stimson, empathises with patients who are undergoing treatment during Covid-19.

She said “It is a very difficult time for our patients as they can’t have people going with them to their appointments.

“The staff are with them every step of the way to give them the reassurance that everything is fine and are there to just to be by their side”

Leyla went on to have 6 weeks of Proton Bean Therapy (PBT) which is a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets specific cancers very precisely, reducing side effects.

Leyla was excited to attend her final appointment last week and a scan in January will confirm if the treatment has been successful.

She hopes to be able to return to the University of Liverpool in January to continue her studies in History and begin her love for sports again.

Leyla is looking forward to an exciting family Christmas at home she said “Christmas will give me time to reflect and be really grateful for the position I’m in now.”

Due to Covid-19 the Charity fundraising events have cancelled losing 2 million pounds in income. Covid friendly and virtual methods are being put in place to continue to support the trust helping cancer patients like Leyla.

Louise said: “We do continue to need support from people and hopefully our events will be back on in spring/summertime.

“We need as much help as possible, if you want to give a Christmas gift or doing any fundraising please get in touch.”

You can contact the Christie Charity on 01614463988 or visit the website https://www.christie.nhs.uk/the-christie-charity.

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