Inspirational patient features in BBC documentary about teenagers with cancer 

26/06/2018 00:00 
An inspirational patient of UCLH is featuring in a BBC2 documentary about teenagers with cancer being broadcast tonight (Tuesday 26 June).
 

Nineteen-year-old Liam Cameron speaks with optimism and courage in the BBC Horizon programme called Teenagers vs cancer: a user’s guide.

Earlier this year Liam was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the rib. Osteosarcoma is a rare type of bone cancer which mostly affects teenagers and young adults.

Liam has had chemotherapy and surgery under the care of our sarcoma team within the Teenage and young adult (TYA) cancer service.

During surgery his ribs affected by the cancer were removed and replaced with plastic substitutes. Sadly this means Liam will no longer be able to play rugby – a deeply held passion of his.

Liam told BBC Horizon: “I have battled my whole life and I’m just getting ready for another battle. The war is far from over. I’m a solider, I’m a general, I’m a commander. I was born for this.

“It is heart-wrenching to know that I will never play rugby again but it is what it is. I can’t complain.”

In the programme, we see Liam wearing a backpack containing hydration fluids needed after chemotherapy. These fluids are infused through a line inserted into a vein in his arm. The backpack allows Liam to leave the hospital and in the programme he meets up with his rugby team. UCLH was the pioneer of this type of “ambulatory care” for teenagers with cancer, allowing them to retain their independence.

Caroline Newton, Liam’s clinical nurse specialist (CNS), said: “Liam is a very inspirational and charming guy. He has such an amazing attitude and cheeky sense of humour which has enabled him to keep positive through adversity. It’s been a real pleasure to be his CNS.”

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