“Teenage cancer trust has shown me I was never alone” Phoebe, South Tyneside

I had been feeling ill for as long as I could remember, since the age of about 3. I went to the doctors all the time with bad pains in my abdomen but was just told it was IBS. Then, in 2012 when I was about 13, it got really bad. I was vomiting all the time and spending time off school. I couldn’t do PE because it gave me such overwhelming fatigue and exhaustion.

Finally, I was sent to hospital to have the issue investigated properly. I had a gastroscopy, which involved having a camera down my throat to have a look in my intestine. Before I was sedated for this, the nurse told me that I would probably wake up with a tube down my throat. This was because they thought it was either Crohn’s or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and that is what the treatment would involve.