"Cancer but not the cool astrology type," reads the bio for a millennial influencer from Denbighshire, Wales. Here's how Eleri Reece-Jones is using social media as her personal diary as she fights a cancer diagnosis.
Eleri Reece-Jones was an average 20-something medical student living a fit and active life when she began noticing unusual lumps on her neck. At first, their appearance really bothered Eleri, who felt subconscious due to the swelling. "I cried about how the way my neck looked, it was so swollen you couldn't see my collarbones," she shared. But as the swelling persisted, Reece-Jones's priority shifted. "I think it was probably my medical knowledge that said: 'I need to go and get this checked again because I'm not happy with it.'" And that's when her world turned upside down with a devastating diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Despite her usual cheerful disposition, Eleri definitely "struggled" with the news. But she decided to make lemonade out of lemons and find a cathartic and educational way to pass the time during chemotherapy - sharing her story on TikTok and Instagram. "I had the app and I was a long-time stalker on there... I've never really posted anything myself," she told BBC. But she chose the viral platform to announce her diagnosis to the world. And from there? It's exploded. "The response has been really overwhelming, I didn't realize how kind people are, everyone is affected by cancer or a hard time, and it's just shown a real sense of community in the comments," the influencer gushed.
From shaving her head to celebrating moments of normalcy as a young British woman, Eleri has shared the ups and downs of her journey with thousands of followers - all while spreading an important message for the young generation. "If you're ever worried about something, get it checked," she pleaded in her caption. "Never be made to feel that you can't go back to [your doctor] if something isn't right. Only you know your own body."
chemo, a love hate relationship♬ original sound - Hi
We're sending nothing but love Eleri's way and can't wait to see what's next for her! You can follow her inspiring journey on TikTok at @elerireecejones.