18-year-old Ellie Douglas was diagnosed with a blood cancer when she was 17, causing her to put on weight, lose her hair, eyelashes, and confidence.
The inspiring cancer survivor from Kent tries to give others strength through her social media posts, being very open about every aspect of her gruelling journey.
After entering into the remission stage of chemotherapy, Ellie was keen to get her confidence back, so she hit the gym and built her physical and mental strength in the process.
You can watch her incredible journey here:
Speaking to UNILAD, Ellie said:
I was 17 when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is blood cancer, and a week after I was diagnosed I had my first chemo.
I had four cycles of chemo, which was very hard at times as you can imagine, as my life just stopped whilst everyone else’s continued.
I lost my hair after my first cycle of chemo. On my bad days after my five-day-week of constant chemo every day, I would need a wheelchair when I went out, or just spend the day in bed with bone pains.
I also gained a stone which was the worst part for me as it made me so self conscious in myself, adding to loosing my hair and eyelashes.
Ellie explained the misconception that people associate cancer with weight loss:
When you think of cancer you think of weight loss, but to prevent that I was put on steroids, 16 a day which made me so hungry and emotional and I hated them the most, also I could recognise the weight I was gaining.
I gained 1 stone during treatment which was a big difference for me as I was used to being so slim. This really affected me so I made sure I went to the gym as soon as my nurse would let me and wouldn’t shut up about it.
Before diagnosis I was petrified of anything hospital related, and very vain, all about my makeup and hair etc, so having to face my fears so suddenly in the worst way possible has made me such a stronger person now which I am thankful for.
Speaking about how she built up the strength to go to the gym, Ellie explained:
My last chemo came around, and during that time I started going to the gym, and building myself back up to lose the weight as soon as I was stable.
It was hard working through the bone / muscle aches and pains but gradually I became stronger, and better.
Now I’m so much physically stronger than I would ever of thought. The thing that has pushed me throughout my whole journey is the support from my Instagram followers. I gained 20k followers throughout sharing my journey, in hope to inspire / help others throughout hard times.
I have had huge amounts of DMs from cancer patients, thanking me, asking me questions and advice.
I made a Youtube channel and did a chemo vlog, cancer q and a, a blog, I really pushed myself through it by helping others.
Nowadays, I’m still not back to my weight before cancer but I’m not far off it and I’m a much stronger person physically and mentally.
Looking to the future, Ellie wants to focus on becoming a make-up artist and launching her own beauty and eyelashes company.
What an inspiration.