A woman left her boyfriend during his battle with cancer because it was affecting her mental health.
Danielle Epstein, 32, from London, was dating Jelle Fresen, 37, until last year when he was diagnosed with a rare form of brain tumor.
As reported by the Daily Mail, “He needed a complex operation, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, and had to learn to walk again.”
“While all this was going on physics teacher Danielle began having panic attacks and her mental health plummeted – so she ended their relationship.”
After ending their relationship, Epstein, who works as a teacher, moved to Thailand, but the two remained in touch.
Danielle said, “I felt like the most awful person, leaving somebody because they have cancer, but it was damaging my mental health, and it wasn’t helping Jelle.”
She said that she feels guilty for leaving Fresen during his fight with the life-threatening disease, but it was damaging her mental health, and she couldn’t take it anymore.
But now she is running a marathon in London for a brain tumor charity to honor Jelle.
“We were on a certain path to a certain future, and within one day, we knew it wasn’t going to work out like that anymore,” said Danielle. “I was so worried and devastated, I couldn’t sleep or eat.”
“I was having panic attacks and was on so much medication to sort myself out I just couldn’t function.”
After moving to Thailand with her father, Danielle stayed friends with Jelle and kept checking on him and his recovery.
“I still love Jelle deeply and want to support him, but I came to realize I couldn’t stay with him as his partner,” she said.
“Following his operation Jelle had nerve damage that paralysed the right side of his face, leading to a squint that causes double-vision. He also can’t fully close his eye and must use eye drops and ointments,” per Daily Mail.
Speaking about her decision to run in Jelle’s name for the brain tumor marathon, Danielle said,
“I felt so helpless watching all this unfold, so I knew I had to do something. I’m not a runner, but Jelle has done marathons before, so I thought it would be a challenge for me and a nice tribute to him and it felt like something to aim towards.”
She added, “I won’t be fast, but I’m determined to get round. Training has been tough physically and mentally – just keeping going when you’re so bored is challenging. But I have the best motivation; if Jelle can go through all of this then I can run a marathon.”
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Source: Daily Mail