Teenage Cancer Trust Stories: Jamie

Teenage Cancer Trust Stories: Jamie - Dr Paw Paw

Get to know Jamie. Part of his story features on the back of our collaboration Dr.PAWPAW X Teenage Cancer Trust Shimmer Balm and we continue to donate 15p from every sale to the charity to help them continue to be there for young people like Jamie, who are faced with cancer at such a pivotal time in their life.

Pride Questions & Answers – Jamie Dods

Hi Jamie, we know a little bit about your story from the shimmer balm packaging, but tell us a bit more….

I was diagnosed with Stage 2B unfavourable Hodgkin Lymphoma whilst on a gap year, travelling around Australia in 2019. I was whisked back to Glasgow for treatment with the support of my friends and family for 6 months of Chemotherapy. I was treated at the Beatson WOSCC in Glasgow which has an extremely active Teenage Cancer Youth Support service. At first, I was reluctant to join in with the peer support activities that were organised at the hospital; I just wanted to come for my chemo & then go home as quickly as possible. Thankfully, the YSC (Youth Support Coordinator) in post at the time frequently visited my ward and informed me of everything that was coming up – including a theatre trip!! Well, safe to say, that was me hooked! From that moment on, I found a new set of friends, all with the shared experience of cancer, to turn to for laughs, fun but also support through the darkest of times. From getting stuck in, I have been so fortunate to have done so many wonderful things with the Trust. I have written blogs and created TikToks to help raise awareness about Pride & Mental Health and I have even participated in a zoom call with the Shadow Minister for Health to help put a spotlight on the amazing work third sector organisations do for young people with cancer. Teenage Cancer Trust helped rebuild my life, gave me purpose during and after my treatment and have helped me create life-long friendships. Thank you, Teenage Cancer Trust!

You mention raising awareness for Pride, we know that Pride month in the UK is in February with Pride events taking place over summer – How are you celebrating Pride this year?

For a long time, my sexuality was something I felt the need to hide or be ashamed of so I never celebrated pride – I simply watched on from a distance. My 6 months of treatment coupled with the coronavirus pandemic gave me the gift of time. The time to do the work on myself, think about my life and what I wanted it to be. Ever since, I see my difference as an asset. Something to be proud of. It is what makes me, me. In February of this year, with my most sequenced outfit in the suitcase, I went out to Malta with a group of friends for the Malta Carnival! What fun we had. In September, I am planning on going back to Malta for pride week to attend my first Pride festival – I am so excited! and tell us, has the significance of Pride for yourself and your family changed since your diagnosis?
My parents have always been so supportive of me, so the significance within the family hasn’t really changed. However, as above, the significance of pride for me has changed. It is something, now, that I feel I can authentically participate in. Something to look forward to and enjoy.

That’s so great that you feel you have a safe space to be authentic. What is your favourite part of pride?
My favourite part of Pride is two-fold. Firstly, the simple fact that it celebrates and encourages diversity! What a boring world it would be if we were all carbon copies of the person before. Pride is the opportunity for everybody to feel safe and a celebration where they can feel welcome to express who they truly are. The second is that it raises awareness. It raises awareness to a wide variety of people, from those who do not support LGBTQ+ people and closeted LGBTQ+. It gives the community a platform to display the good, encourage the difference and trigger progress.


Such a great answer! How do you prepare for Pride celebrations?
Well, I am now a frequent visitor of the gay bars in and around Glasgow and attend as many pride events as possible. So for me, it is always about feeling my best! When I feel my best, I look my best! However, for Malta in September, I have my eye on a designer sequin suit to wear when attending the parade – so I just might have to treat myself! Otherwise, I will
make sure my hair is snatched, my beard is trimmed and that I smell, DIVINE. It takes a village!! My aunt helps me with my hair and beard & my flat mate helps choose an outfit and a make-up artist will help cover the blemishes!! I take a lot of confidence from my hair,
beard & skin. So, when I lost all my hair during my treatment and my skin broke out, it was extremely difficult! Now, I make the most of it. I look after my hair, and I have a rigorous skin care routine to ensure it always stays perfect! In short, I make sure I feel my best to look my best!

It takes a village! We love that!
Final question - list your three go-to products that your Pride event wouldn’t be complete without!

1) Firstly, it would be on my Penhaligon’s perfumes. I am an absolute fragrance snob!! My two current favourites are Constantinople and Halfeti. A few sprays of those and I am good to go – but I always make sure I take my atomiser filled with the fragrance
to top up on the go!!
2) Second, would HAVE to be my Dr.PAWPAW x TCT Shimmer Balm. I use this to hydrate my lips and add a sparkle to my face. I would be absolutely lost without it! It will always be in the pocket of my pride outfit!!
3) Thirdly, SHOES! Whether it is a Louboutin, Alexander McQueen’s or Guiseppe Zanotti’s – if I don’t have a fabulous pair of shoes on, my pride event would be RUINED!! It's all about the shoes!!

You can help us support Teenage Cancer Trust by purchasing out 10ml Shimmer Balm. 15p from each sale goes directly to the charity to help support their life changing work. Click the image to shop.

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