Fabian Bolin was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, aged 28. He founded WarOnCancer to empower others affected by the disease.
Thursday 2 July 2015. The day my world fell apart. The day I was diagnosed with leukaemia. I had blood cancer.
I had been feeling under the weather for the last month or two. My body felt exhausted and my mood low. I simply put this down to inflated levels of stress and hard work. I hadn't taken a single day of holiday since I had left investment banking and ventured into the world of acting in 2013.
At the age of 28, my career was skyrocketing but I always knew working at that pace would come at a price.
I was living in London at the time and had planned to return to Sweden for a few weeks to visit family and friends during the summer, so I ignored my body's complaints. In the days leading up to my departure to Sweden, my physical condition drastically deteriorated. I was sweating uncontrollably and my thigh lymph nodes were aching. Suspecting a serious bout of the flu I attributed the pain to my body telling me I was overdoing it.
Once in Sweden, the pain crept up to my chest, making it difficult for me to breathe. I knew something was wrong – I had to get myself to the hospital. After a large number of tests, I was informed that I had leukaemia. My world fell apart.
I felt so utterly sad and confused. How unfair that I should have to go through this hell of a treatment, after fighting so hard to reach this stage in life and be on the cusp of fulfilling my acting dreams.
I decided after my first ever chemotherapy session that although there was a risk I might not survive, I was not going to give up on living the life I loved so much. I decided that I wanted to share my story and my fight. That I would write about the treatment, take photos and videos (yes, I would go bald), and share how I felt. Hopefully, I could inspire some people and help others in similar situations.
Little did I know what epic journey this would take me on.
The message I wrote of my diagnosis was shared over 12,000 times on Facebook and led to over 100,000 messages, e-mails and letters of support. My blog and my story continued to be read by thousands. I recognised the power and potential of storytelling, and combining it with a strong urge to empower others affected – the idea of WarOnCancer was born.
Humbled and helping others
Fast-forward to 2019 and my life has completely changed. I am no longer that party boy pursuing a career in acting. Instead I am cancer-free, humbled and living a life where I can help enrich and support those who are affected by cancer.
I am now the CEO of WarOnCancer We’ve just launched the WarOnCancer app, it’s a social networking app for patients, survivors and loved ones – a niche community for cancer. Read my next blog to find out more about the WarOnCancer app.
- This is the first of a number of blogs written for WCRF by Fabian Bolin. Bookmark our blog to follow Fabian’s epic story.