Brave bone cancer patient proves a model inspiration

Elesha Turner from St Leonards. SUS-140926-162607001
Elesha Turner from St Leonards. SUS-140926-162607001

A young cancer survivor has used her experiences to help inspire other sufferers by becoming a model.

Elesha Turner, 20, had most of the bones in her left leg replaced with titanium.

After being diagnosed with bone cancer in 2013, doctors had to remove her femur bone, knee and two of her thigh muscles to get rid of the cancer.

She went to the doctors after returning from a holiday in Egypt.

She had been dancing all night at a club and woke up one morning with a stiff leg and pain in my knee. She had also found a lump on her knee.

After a scan doctors fast-tracked her for specialist treatment fearing it was an aggressive form of bone cancer

Elesha said: “The doctors told me they thought it was a tumour and it could be cancerous. This was on Thursday, July 11 and the next day I had a phone call from the specialist hospital saying, ‘we need to see you tomorrow for a MRI scan.’

“It was a two-and-a-half week wait for the test results to come through. That was the worst part. Because they thought my cancer was very aggressive, it was a relief when the results came through in a way. Once you know what you are dealing with, you can get on with it. Until then, you can’t focus on anything. I didn’t research into bone cancer because I didn’t want to read any scare stories. I knew that amputation could be an option, it was such a relief to know it was treatable. It was so fortunate that I went for the initial x-ray because if I had left it for a few weeks, the cancer was ready to spread aggressively. Because it was aggressive, you read statistics about how people don’t survive and I didn’t want to see myself as a statistic.

“Motivation only came after I could see some progress, but at first it was really strange because I could not move my leg. It was like having to retrain your brain.”

Elesha still uses crutches to get about and will need them for several more months. While recovering Elesha read about Models for Diversity, a non-profit organisation campaigning for the industry to use more models with disabilities.

She told the

“People talk about survivors guilt and I don’t feel that I went through enough. I can see that some people go through a lot worse than what I went through such as chemotherapy and amputations, it’s just awful. Out of a bad situation I got the best result and now I want to help in whatever way I can.” You can donate at www.bonecancerresearch.org.uk.