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Teen cancer survivor Tyler, who was initially told he was making up his symptoms, thanks YouTubers and CLIC Sargent for support during treatment

Written by Samantha Lade, Donr

Published on Tuesday, 23rd January 2018

Teen cancer survivor Tyler, who was initially told he was making up his symptoms, thanks YouTubers and CLIC Sargent for support during treatment

Written by ##author:samanthalade## for DonateToday

PUBLISHED: ##published## | UPDATED: ##updated##

YouTube personality 'Masieh' (left) and cancer survivor Tyler (right) have sprung up an unlikely friendship

After battling a form of cancer which was originally dismissed as growing pains, 14-year-old Tyler Hart is now sharing his inspirational story. He wishes to thank his YouTube heroes who ‘boosted his spirit’ during treatment, as well as charity CLIC Sargent, who provided him with a social worker to support him through his fight.

An Incorrect Dismissal

When a 12-year-old Tyler Hart began experiencing severe stomach and back ache in the summer of 2016, he knew that something wasn’t quite right.

However, unable to diagnose the young boy from Chelmsford, doctors were quick to dismiss his symptoms as perhaps constipation or growing pains – even suggesting at one point that Tyler could be making it up to miss school.

‘I trusted the doctors that they were right and just believed what they said,’ explains Tyler’s mum, Sue Hart. 

‘They were saying there was nothing wrong with him. There was a suspicion he was making it up, so I had to force him to go to school.’

"Today, 11 more children/young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer"

- CLIC Sargent

'We Were In Shock'

However, after several emergency trips to A&E due to severe pain, Tyler’s shock diagnosis was eventually made: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

‘When we were told it was cancer, I was devastated, I just couldn’t believe it,’ explains Sue. ‘I felt guilty because I didn’t believe him all those times. 

'Hearing the word cancer was the last thing I expected. The memories are hazy – I think we were in shock.’

Jack would watch YouTube videos to pass the time spent in hospital during his treatment

Soon, the teenager’s treatment of six intensive courses of chemotherapy began, which resulted in many physical – but also emotional – side effects for Tyler.

Recent Hidden Costs research from the UK’s leading cancer charity for young people, CLIC Sargent, revealed the true extent cancer can have emotionally on young people: with 83% of young patients reporting experiencing loneliness during their treatment, and 70% admitting to feelings of depression in this time.

But thankfully, Tyler had a pastime which helped him through his fight: YouTube.

Social Media for Good

Tyler (pictured) met more famous YouTubers at a charity football match, such as KSI (pictured right)

‘It was a really difficult time, but watching my favourite YouTubers helped to keep my mind off things and make me feel less isolated,’ says Tyler.

The teen also managed to build an unlikely friendship with some of his YouTube heroes, Masieh Zarrien (aka Masieh) and Faisal Shinwari (Carnage), who even made the trip to visit him whilst he was in hospital.

‘Tyler reached out to me and instantly I felt the need to visit him,’ says Masieh, 20, ‘He is such an amazing character. I was so happy I got to meet him.'

Masieh went on to vlog the encounter, in which he called his meeting with Tyler 'the most humbling experience of my life'.

Tyler was also able to meet the YouTube ‘Sidemen Crew’ as a football mascot at a charity match, where he was also able to meet stars like KSI and Marcus Butler, who have fans in the millions. 

"79% of young people feel cancer has a serious impact on their emotional wellbeing"

- CLIC Sargent | Hidden Costs

Crucial Support

Today, the young cancer survivor is thankful to these YouTubers that ‘boosted his spirits’ in hospital – but also to his CLIC Sargent Social Worker, who was there for him throughout his battle.

‘CLIC Sargent made such a difference to me and my family,’ says Tyler. His social worker was able to provide the Hart family with a range of support, including financial, practical and emotional help and guidance.

As the charity continues to help families limit the damage cancer causes beyond just physical health, Tyler is proud to support their World Cancer Campaign.

Members of the public are being encouraged to donate £2 to get their own ‘Band Against Cancer’ wristband to raise vital funds and awareness ahead of World Cancer Day (4th Feb).

‘I’m really proud to wear my Band Against Cancer,’ finishes Tyler. ‘Buying a band and telling everyone about it is such an easy way to make sure other families get the same support I did.’

Tyler displays his own Band Against Cancer wristband

To find out more about World Cancer Day (4th February 2018) and to get your own Band Against Cancer Wristband, please click here.