Hello, my name is Andreas, I am 27 years old and I come from Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea. I may look like a typical guy living his own life in full but that is far away from reality.
When I was just 17 I was diagnosed with IPT (inflammatory pseudotumor) disease. IPT disease is a rare chronic condition which is mimicking processes from neoplasma of malignant tumors and that is why it is also called “the great mimicker”. As IPT is a rare condition, classified as a rare cancer type, my diagnosis was really difficult to establish.
I was in Israel for medical investigation for four months when my condition was identified, and accepting my diagnosis was anything but easy, especially for my family.
Living with a chronic disease is an everyday struggle especially for the people that cares for you. Family and friends are fully involved and thanks to the strength and support of those wonderful people, I have been able to overcome my fears, learn more about my condition and organise my life to allow for treatment schedules and medical exams.
That said, I strongly believe that my chronic disease changes me not only physically but also mentally. Your whole world around turns in a flash and your inner power fades out. I have experienced discrimination and hardships throughout my life but that made me stronger and willing to help other patients understand and take on any disease that they have to overcome.
The same passion of helping and empowering patients led me to work in one of the biggest cancer awareness and prevention organisation in my country. I have learned to challenge myself by listening to other people’s experience and grow from their knowledge and wisdom.
I am a strong supporter of taking control over your life. This is the reason why I feel really lucky about joining the EPF Youth Group as sharing our knowledge and experiences will help me as an individual in the process of helping others.
I can’t wait to start this new chapter in my life. The best is yet to come.