TWO teenagers from opposite ends of Gwent have spoken of how meeting each other while undergoing chemotherapy in Cardiff has given them the strength to face an otherwise frightening situation.

Eden Lewis, from Oakdale, and Noah Herniman, from Chepstow - both 16 - both receive chemotherapy treatment at Noah's Ark Children's Hospital in Cardiff.

There, they even see the same consultant and have developed a friendship in the face of adversity.

The Argus recently spoke to both teens, who said that having someone the same age going through the same situation can provide comfort during a tough time.

South Wales Argus:

Noah, who will be 17 next week, suffers from a condition called neurofibromatosis, where tumours grow on a person’s nerve tissues.

He was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour at the core of his brain in 2021.

However, he has remained stoic ever since - continuing with his charity work.

"When I started my chemotherapy, I told my mum that I wanted to carry on my life as if I wasn’t on treatment," he said.

"I didn’t want to meet any other patients, because I didn’t want to be sad if anything happened to them."

However, Noah explained that he soon discovered that was "totally naive".

"As you spend so much time in hospital, the friends in school disappear and you are thrown into a completely different world," he said.

"The nurses know every single child and their quirks.

"As a patient you meet so many other children and teens, you automatically talk to one another.

"You may not know each other and you may only exchange words, but you understand each other's journey."

Noah explained that he first met Eden in hospital "largely because my mum talks to everyone".

He discovered that he attended school with her cousin, Tyler.

"We chatted and, in all honesty, I probably bored her with my inane Dr Who talk," he said.

"I like to think that if Eden wants to talk she will message me.

"I believe similar stories give us an insight into what we are experiencing.

"Unfortunately, my journey is in the lap of the Time Lords with no prognosis, and Eden's prognosis is not good."

Despite this - "living under a cloud" as Noah calls it - he says "knowing you have a friend that understands does make a difference".

"We have a shared experience and want to live our best lives," he said.

South Wales Argus:

Eden has been battling osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, along with lung metastases for around two years.

She has had a 13cm tumour removed from her right thigh and now has an internal metal prosthetic in her leg

On March 3 last year, the family received the terrible news that Eden's cancer was terminal. She was given just months to live.

"I started my treatment some time before I first met Noah," Eden explained

"My treatment started right at the beginning of the covid pandemic and met Noah nearly a year ago, after I'd been told my cancer is terminal.

"Most of my treatment in hospital was very lonely and isolated."

She explained that most of the other patients on her ward were much younger than she was.

"It would often make me miss my brother Logan and sister Faora," she said.

Eden and Noah's outpatient appointments often happened on the same day.

"We got chatting right away, along with our mums," Eden said.

"It was nice to be able to talk to someone who shared the same fears and frustrations, about the upcoming GCSEs and even our proms.

"I actually felt like a normal teen, with normal problems and worries."

Eden explained how on one occasion Noah had helped her overcome her fear of needles despite being unwell himself.

"I'm extremely needle phobic and one day I needed to have bloods done. I was petrified," she said.

"Despite how weak Noah appeared, he came to find me and said I could reach out to him any time about anything.

"It's important to have people who understand."

Eden explained that aving someone who can relate to "the harshness of chemotherapy and cancer" has been a lifeline "I didn't know I needed until I had it".

"Cancer is lonely and frightening regardless of your age," she said.

"Knowing that there's a good chance you'll see a friend when you're waiting to see your consultant makes it less frightening."

Both Noah and Eden have been nominated in the Child of Wales Awards 2023.

The awards celebrate inspirational young people from across the country.

The ceremony takes place in Cardiff on March 24.