Watch: teenager with brain tumour uses love of dance to forget struggles and tells others to ‘stay strong’

A teenager with cancer has focused on her love of dance to help her forget her condition.

Eve, 13, from Portsmouth, was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma - a type of brain tumour - in 2019 at the age of 10, after suffering from severe headaches, blurry vision, tiredness and nausea for months.

Eve underwent brain surgery to save her vision and drain the fluid from the cyst which had grown on the tumour.

Although Eve’s tumour cannot be removed, she has since undergone proton therapy to manage other cysts.

She has to make regular visits to the hospital and have MRI scans to monitor the tumour, but her love of dance has helped her to forget about her condition.

Eve said that when she dances “everything just falls out of my mind” and it helps her “go to a whole different place”, allowing her to “forget her struggles”.

Speaking of receiving her diagnosis, Eve said she didn’t feel sad as she had been unwell for so long, but instead was “determined” and “just wanted to be better”.

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She said one of her favourite dance memories is her first time back in the studio after her surgery.

Eve said the “energy” and “adrenaline rushes” made her feel “like I was at home”.

Eve was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma - a type of brain tumour - in 2019 at the age of 10

To mark September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the charity Children with Cancer UK asked Eve to join them for a day to explore her aspirations.

She met with one of the charity’s ambassadors, renowned dancer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge, Dame Arlene Phillips, and visited the legendary Sadler’s Wells theatre.

Dame Arlene said: “I have recently become an ambassador for Children with Cancer UK, and when I heard that there was a girl called Eve who wanted to be a dancer, I knew I had to meet her.

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“I was hugely inspired by her story, and her powerful message to other children going through a cancer diagnosis to stay strong.”

Eve said Arlene was “inspiring” and her passion for dance made her “love it even more”, with the teenager “eager” to work within the industry in the future.

The thirteen-year-old added that her advice to anyone going through any type of cancer or a situation similar to hers is to “stay strong”.

Although she noted that “it’s not always as easy as it sounds” and takes time, eventually it “does get easier”.

Jo Elvin, CEO at Children with Cancer UK, said: “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is very special to us at Children with Cancer UK. We’re driven by making sure cancer doesn’t stand in the way of a child or young person’s hopes for the future, and proud to be one of the leading children’s cancer charities for the funding of research into children and young people’s cancer.

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“We’re excited to join with others around the world to shine a light on some incredible stories and the work that still needs to be done to ensure that children not only survive cancer, but thrive post treatment.”