Football injury led to woman being diagnosed with cancer

A 21-year-old woman learned she had cancer after sustaining a serious injury while playing soccer.

Leyla Ozturk from Skelton was diagnosed with thyroid cancer while undergoing treatment for a neck injury.

The footballer, who shared her story to raise awareness and help others in a similar situation, told BBC Radio Tees: “Even if you think this is the end of the world, it will end.”

“It will end and you will think, 'Wow, I actually fought through that and beat cancer.'”

In September 2023, Leyla landed on her neck after a tackle. When her body went numb, she was taken to the emergency room, where a nodule was discovered on the right side of her thyroid.

In December she was scheduled to undergo partial thyroidectomy and one month later she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Leyla subsequently underwent a complete thyroidectomy and is now awaiting radioiodine therapy later this year.

Together with some of her family, she is taking part in the Macmillan Mighty Hike to raise funds for the charity.

She said: “My nurses at Macmillan were amazing. They were so supportive and did so much for all the other cancer patients across the country, like my family and I.”

“It will be very rewarding”

Story by Eve Kennedy. Video by Dan Ragusa.