Thursday 9th July 2020

 

Teenage Cancer Trust Award Winner Crystal Marshall with her mum

When aspiring actress and image conscious teen Crystal developed a facial tumour aged 18 she was devastated. To save her life her upper jaw and part of her nose had to be removed. This, and people's reactions to her changed appearance saw her lose her confidence and lock herself away in her bedroom, abandoning her acting dreams.

A turning point came when her Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator invited Crystal to the charity’s Find Your Sense Of Tumour (FYSOT) residential weekend where she met lots of other young people with cancer. Her confidence grew, and she got up on the stage briefly at the event - a breakthrough moment after hiding away for so long.

She then starred in Teenage Cancer Trust’s Still Me body image campaign – a bold move that took a lot of courage – and inspired other young people with cancer struggling with changes to appearance caused by cancer with her positive message.

This year (2020) she was part of a Teenage Cancer Trust part-funded theatre project which saw her perform at the FYSOT alongside other budding actors. She is now auditioning for drama schools alongside volunteering at a local theatre.

A keen blogger and vlogger, during the COVID-19 outbreak she’s still been supporting others by co-hosting ‘Positivity Hour’ on Teenage Cancer Trust’s Instagram account, sharing tips on how to cope with things like isolation and loneliness.

Crystal says that when she was diagnosed and googled her particular cancer none of the people that came up in her search looked like her, and she felt so alone. That’s why she’s made it her mission to raise awareness by sharing her story and experiences so widely.