Musician and voiceover artist Carol Jarvis from Henley on Sunday fronted the BBC Radio 4 Appeal to raise awareness for Lymphoma Action, the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people affected by lymphoma. Carol shared her experience for the appeal to raise awareness of the condition, and the work of the charity, having received a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2004 when she was just 26.
“I was overwhelmed and terrified when I was diagnosed”, says Carol. “Not many people have heard of lymphoma, but it is actually the fifth most common cancer in the UK, and the most common cancer in young people.” Carol undertook nine years of treatment, including chemotherapy and a donor stem cell transplant, before she was given the all clear in 2013.
Throughout her treatment, Carol was determined to live as normal life as possible and to fulfil her ambitions as a professional musician. She even continued to tour around the world playing the trombone, supporting artists such as Sting and Seal. Carol’s support throughout it all was her mum, Helen. “She was my everything” she says. “For almost a decade she dealt with the emotional rollercoaster that was my lymphoma and she continues to support me today. Mum reached out to Lymphoma Action, accessing their support services to find out as much information about my condition as possible, and using their Helpline to ask questions or to simply talk when she needed to. Mum could be there for me because Lymphoma Action was there for her. I can’t put a price on the help they gave our family – we couldn’t have coped without them.”
To hear Carol’s story in full as part of Lymphoma Action’s BBC Radio 4 Appeal, visit www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009yxn. Donations to Lymphoma Action in support of the appeal can still be made by visiting: www.lymphoma-action.org.uk/R4.