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LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 13/04/2022 – Eloise May 21 from Ditton Priors near Bridgnorth, is in the middle of cancer treatment. Pictured here with her horse, Coco..

Eloise May, 20, from Ditton Priors has been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma and is half way through punishing bouts of chemotherapy treatment at the Clatterbridge Cancer Center in Liverpool, where she is studying sports science at John Moores University.

In the early part of her treatment she started a blog about her experiences, partly she said to pass the time and partly because it helped her to understand what she was going through when it was written down. It has been read by more than 20,000 people and her TikTok account has been accessed by 930,000.

Eloise says she has been amazed by the messages of support she has received online, including from a fellow sufferer with a similar diagnosis with whom she has made friends.

Eloise May undergoing chemotherapy

She said: “I’ve never really been a writer but when I was moved from the Royal Liverpool Hospital to one which was lot quieter with a lot more space, I just thought I would put my thoughts down and it escalated from there – I just kept writing.

“When I started my initial blog it attracted around 18,000 people in a short time but then it just seemed to escalate and I have spoken to people I haven’t been in touch with for years, like my English teacher at secondary school who told me my writing had improved since I was in her class.

“I met with some old school friends when I was back in Shropshire – they had read the blog and got back in touch – they might not have known otherwise.

“Other people offered to buy me things like items of clothing and contributed through the GoFundMe page which is meant to provide for essential items I might need. I even met a girl call Izzy from London who has a similar diagnosis. It has been good to be able to share our experiences and we have become firm friends.”

Eloise’ blog and TikTok channels have both gained followings

Eloise, who spends time with her sister and parents in the close knit Shropshire village community in between chemotherapy says the viral nature of blogging and Tik-Tok has worked quite well in keeping people informed with what she is going through, and how the treatment is progressing.

She said: “It is a very small community and at the start of this someone mistook my sister for me and said to my parents how sorry they were to hear of her illness, it is easy to misconstrue things when it is heard through others, it’s quite funny really.

“At least with doing the blog and the Tik Tok account it is out there and people know about it – not everyone is completely up with the technology like my mum for example but at least it is there for everyone to see.

“The internet can be bad at times but it can also be a force for good and I have met so many good natured and kind people through doing this – I haven’t had any of the bad experiences you sometimes hear about online. I just hope it helps other people who are in a similar situation in some small way.”

The horse-loving youngster is looking forward to her 21st birthday in August and getting back to university where she wants to finish her studies and go on and do a masters in Liverpool.

Eloise May from Ditton Priors

She said: “It’s a wonderful city I have met so many friends there and had a such a great time studying there – I definitely want to go on and continue studying at the end of the course.

“The people are so friendly, even those you don’t know – I know it maybe a bit of a cliche about people from Liverpool being so welcoming but I have found it to be true.”

The former Brown Clee CE Primary and Endowed School pupil thanked the Ditton Priors Community for ‘rallying round’ and providing support, with a number of events including a motor show and dog show organized to raise money for charities around cancer.

She said: “Everyone has been wonderfully supportive even though they might not see me everyday but the messages and good wishes really do mean a lot to me.”

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