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Page last updated at 06:44 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 07:44 UK
Living with leukaemia aged 14
By Brandice Alexander
Newsbeat reporter

Prince Aidoo
All this week on Newsbeat we are marking the 60th birthday of the NHS by looking at what the health service means to you, how healthy it is and what the future holds. Is it still the pride of the country or time for a change?

Today we hear from Prince Aidoo. He had to wait three months to find out from doctors what was wrong with him.

Finally he was told he had leukaemia aged 14.

His time on the children's ward was lonely until the Teenage Cancer Trust stepped in.


I was diagnosed with leukaemia when I was 14. To be honest I was just so relieved to know what was wrong with me.

I thought even if I die at least I know what's wrong with me. I just felt for my dad, he really went through a lot. We just didn't know what it was that I had, that was frustrating.

I was 14 and I think quite a mature 14 year old as well, so I hated being with children who were like eight months and just toddlers.

Sometimes there were people my age but other times there was just babies. I had no one to talk to. I coped with that for a year.

I went into remission but then unfortunately the cancer came back when I was 17 going on 18.

So at 17 I went to one of the Teenage Cancer Trust units which is a charity, still with the NHS, but it's very different. The Teenage Cancer Trust puts special wards in NHS hospitals.
Prince Aidoo
Prince Aidoo had treatment for cancer from the age of 14

The difference was amazing. The ordinary children's ward on the NHS was OK but it didn't give me the emotional support and it didn't have psychologists and councillors.

The Teenage Cancer Trust ward had everything you could want.

There were flat screen TVs, laptops, computers, wireless mice, games, pool tables, internet access and everyone was round about the same age.

Also your friends could just visit any time without having to check timings and leave quickly.

But what I really loved was that I was spoken to like an adult, I was told in detail about my illness, what stage I was at, what stage the treatment was in and how I was progressing.

I've experienced good and bad in the NHS but I think it's a personal thing. Everyone has different experiences and deals with things differently. I think it all depends on the actual hospital.

Like I said I had a bad experience on the children's ward but the Teenage Cancer Trust unit was great.

I hated the food on both wards though but if I was to rate the NHS on a five star rating I would give it a three. It's not that bad. Well, it wasn't for me anyway.



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