Young Scots mum whose sons ‘tired her out’ during lockdown diagnosed with rare cancer

A brave 24-year-old mum from Edinburgh, who thought her tiredness during lockdown was due to having young children, was stunned to find out she was actually suffering from a rare form of cancer.

Tianna Campbell, from Gilmerton, was just 23 when she was diagnosed with a form of Lymphoma on April 1, 2020.

After finding herself struggling to breathe properly and unable to cope with running around after her two young boys, the single mother was hit with the shock diagnosis, reports Edinburgh Live.

Now for Mother’s Day this year, the Teenage Cancer Trust want to shine a light on the experience of being a young person living with cancer, as well as surviving, and thriving, in motherhood.

The single mum was diagnosed with a form of Lymphoma on April 1, 2020

Tianna was diagnosed with cancer during the first lockdown and was told there was a 12cm tumor behind her breastbone which needed intense chemotherapy straight away – as well as 15 rounds of radiotherapy.

Tianna was treated at the Western General and was on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit where she could be with young people who were her age, also facing cancer and making her feel less lonely.

Throughout Tianna’s treatment, she had to entertain her children and found it hard to keep shielding.

On what motherhood looked like while living with cancer, Tianna said: “As I’m a single mum and my dad lives in Spain and my sister works a lot, I had to find ways to cope alone and keep my children entertained, whilst trying to look after and shield myself from the pandemic.

“I would often drive over to my grandma’s house where there was a path to a beach from her back garden and I would sit and watch my sons play with their grandparents, whilst giving me time to close my eyes and rest.

“On some days I just wanted to sleep all day and not have to worry about anyone else, but motherhood doesn’t allow for that to happen, I had to keep going for the sake of my children.”

During Tianna’s cancer treatment, one of the hardest things for her was losing her hair as she was worried her children wouldn’t know who she was or want to come near her.

Thankfully, they adjusted and gave her lots of support during a tough time.

On her son’s reaction, Tianna said: “My sons have helped me through cancer, even though they are still young, they are my purpose in life.

“If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have fought cancer as hard as I did.

Tianna's boys proudly watching their mum completing a sponsored skydive
Tianna’s boys proudly watching their mum completing a sponsored skydive

“It will always be at the back of my mind that I could relapse, or the cancer could come back in years to come but I tell myself to live each day as it comes and make many memories with my children, friends and family.”

Recently Tianna has fundraised for Teenage Cancer Trust by doing a sponsored skydive to help raise vital funds for the charity.

The money raised will go towards the continuation of our specialized hospital units which help to support young people with cancer by things such as activities whilst they are going through treatment.

The units also offer specialized care and support throughout treatment from nurses and youth support coordinators.

On the skydive, Tianna said: “The skydive for Teenage Cancer Trust was amazing, my sons were at the bottom cheering me on which was so heart-warming.

“It was also a great opportunity to give back to the charity that helped me so much through everything I went through.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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