Ilford cancer survivor hopes new book will inspire others to ‘hold on to life’

Charlotte Crowl and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes at an NHS blood donation event in the Houses of Parli

Charlotte Crowl and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes at an NHS blood donation event in the Houses of Parliament in May - Credit: Archant

A cancer survivor who wrote a book about her experience wants to inspire others to “hold on to life” while battling the disease.

Charlotte Crowl with her book "Cancer: The Hidden Truth"

Charlotte Crowl with her book "Cancer: The Hidden Truth" - Credit: Archant

Charlotte Crowl, 26, of Ilford, was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma – a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer – at the age of 17.

Now six years in remission, Charlotte is determined to help others battling cancer with one message – stay positive.

Her book Cancer: The Hidden Truth tells the story of her fight against the disease and lifts the veil on its impact on her body and her mind – a topic she believes is too often swept aside.

“Often they say of people with cancer ‘he has survived or he has died’, but there is much more to it.

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“On my 18th birthday, I was in a hospital bed, unable to walk or talk. It really changes your life,” she said.

After complaining of numbness in her arm and neck, the diagnosis was made in December 2007 and Charlotte spent New Year’s Eve in Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

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She was later transferred to the University College London Hospital, where she underwent chemotherapy for more than two years.

Suffering from the drugs’ side effects, her body went into shutdown in March 2008 leaving her unable to walk or talk.

“It was very scary. I used to be really confident, but all my confidence was then taken away. I could no longer live my life as I used to,” she told the Recorder.

“But I had to believe and find a way to stay positive. I held on to life knowing I never wanted to hurt my family,” she added.

Charlotte says her walking is still “not 100 per cent” and she describes her voice as “squeaky”, but she has made it her mission to help others.

Her company, Pure Help to Cure, gives information about natural treatments and is a forum to support families affected by cancer.

Find out more about her here.

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