Saturday 23 September 2017

#WarOnCancer: Ex-Made in Chelsea star describes how his world fell apart when he was diagnosed with Leukaemia

Geraldine Gittens

When ex-Made in Chelsea actor Fabian Bolin was diagnosed with Leukaemia, his world fell apart.

He’d been working hard in London to get his big break, and it was looking like he was on his way.

But one night when he was out at dinner with his parents on a short trip home to Sweden, he got a stabbing pain in his chest and was rushed to hospital.

Days later, after numerous tests, doctors revealed Fabian had cancer. Fabian recalls a feeling of helplessness, and he was asking the medics questions that they seemed unwilling to answer. He felt helpless, until he took to social media to find answers.

“I keep saying that cancer changed my life. But how it all started was I shared a post on Facebook. The reason I did that was because I asked the doctors and nurses what could I expect for the next two years [during the chemotherapy treatment]?”

“They gave me very inadequate answers, if any at all, around these questions.”

He explained: “There’s a structural problem in healthcare when the mental health of patients is being ignored.”

Fabian felt like a “patient with no voice”, and he took to social media to share his experiences with what grew to be a huge follow base.

“I also asked the doctors and nurses is there anything I could do with food, in the way of boosting my immune system and making myself strong for the next two years. They just said ‘eat what you like’. That is kind of belittling, because here I was in the middle of my life and career, wanting to make the best out of my situation, and I felt like I was being treated as a patient with no voice.”

The popularity of his social media posts inspired him to create something bigger - #WarOnCancer.

“Essentially, it's social media merging with a support forum. As it’s digitally centred it means people can communicate, share stories, connect and find support much faster and more frequently than with traditional ways,” a spokesperson for #WarOnCancer said.

Follow Fabian and #WaronCancer on Instagram @fabianbolin @waroncancerunited, and see waroncancer.com.

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