Former Sheffield student thought cancer was 'hangover'

A former Sheffield student who set up an award-winning cancer blog initially thought her symptoms were down to a hangover.

Wednesday, 25th October 2017, 3:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:04 pm
Sophie Trew (right) at the Trew Field Festival this summer with Kris Hallenga, founder of the CoppaFeel! cancer charity

Sophie Trew began feeling tired and sluggish not long after graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2013.

Having just returned from a trip to Colombia to film a documentary, the journalism graduate at first put it down to an 'extended hangover from being away'.

Sophie today

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But she sought medical help when a lump formed on the side of her neck, and in 2014 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Struggling with the side effects of chemotherapy, she researched ways to look after her body, from taking up yoga and meditation to cutting sugar and dairy products from her diet, and soon noticed the difference.

She started blogging about her experience, setting up Trew Talks on Facebook and YouTube, to raise awareness among other cancer patients of the treatments and lifestyle changes she believed could aid their recovery too.

"My trigger point was when I was diagnosed I was told by doctors there was nothing I could do to help myself and that made me stop and think that simply cannot be true," said Sophie, who now lives in Farnham, Surrey.

Sophie during her treatment

"So luckily I started researching and realised there was this whole possibility of integrative options and alternative supportive treatments like your diet, like meditation, like yoga and working out ways of how to look after your body while going through treatment.

"The blog was fuelled by the fact I wanted to share everything I didn’t know, so I could help other people."

This summer, Sophie hosted The Trew Fields Festival, described as the UK's first cancer awareness and holistic festival, which featured health workshops along with food, music and comedy.

The 25-year-old, who is in remission, now works as a personal care manager for Victoria's Promise, a charity supporting young women battling cancer, and Supports Trekstock, a young adult cancer charity.

Sophie today

She was this week named as one of five winners of the Remarkable Person prize at the inaugural Spotlight Awards, in recognition of her tireless efforts to raise awareness about lesser-known ways to aid cancer recovery.

The awards were set up by Live Better With, an online platform providing information for cancer patients and their loved ones.

For more information about Live Better With and Sophie Trew, visit www.livebetterwith.com.

Sophie during her treatment