Why the National Children of Wales Awards are supporting the life-changing work of the Teenage Cancer Trust
The National Children of Wales Awards are proud to be supporting the Teenage Cancer Trust. Before their first unit opened in 1990, no specialist cancer care for young people existed in the UK within the NHS. Now, the Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to providing young people living with cancer specialist care and expert treatment.
In the UK, every day, seven young people aged from 13-24 receive the devastating news that they have cancer. The Teenage Cancer Trust ensures that no young person should have to face this terrifying diagnosis alone. They are there every step of the way, supporting the young person as well as their family members.
Without the incredible work done by the Teenage Cancer Trust, thousands of young people would have to face cancer alone.
Young people who are in the care of the Teenage Cancer Trust are encouraged to continue being just that: young people. Specialist cancer units exist to bring young people together to be treated. This allows patients to socialise with each other, meeting other young people who understand exactly what they’re going through.
Nick, from Bristol, can attest to this. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), a cancer of the blood, at just 18 years old.
Initially, there were no spare beds at the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit, so he had to stay on the adult ward. This was a scary and isolating experience for him, as most of the other patients were significantly older than he was.
He was unhappy there, saying: “I had no-one to talk to and I felt quite lonely. I didn't leave my room for about two weeks.”
However, when Nick was transferred to the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit, his whole experience changed. His room was far bigger, complete with his own desk as well as places for his family and friends to sleep when they visit.
His loneliness vanished, as he was surrounded by people his age who were going through the same experience.
The Teenage Cancer Trust relies predominately on public donations as a means of income and work hard to ensure that this money is used to directly support young people before, during and after cancer treatment.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity from the public, Teenage Cancer Trust has been able to provide 28 specialist teenage cancer units across the UK, helping young people with cancer feel less alone. Teenage Cancer Trust also funds 48 nurses and youth support co-ordinators in order to provide age appropriate care where it is most needed.
Another fantastic event organised by the Teenage Cancer Trust is their annual Teenage Cancer Trusts week of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Since 2000, these concerts have hosted some of the biggest names in music and comedy who coming together each year to raise money to help young people face the chaos of cancer.
Notable stars who have performed at these gigs include Ed Sheeran, Olly Murs, Russell Howard, Kasabian, Bring Me The Horizon, Sir Paul McCartney, and of course their patron Sir Roger Daltrey.
We really cannot praise the efforts of the Teenage Cancer Trust enough. Their ability to change the lives of young people living with cancer, providing continuous support and friendship, is hugely inspiring.
Proceeds from the National Children of Wales Awards will help ensure that the Teenage Cancer Trust can extend their specialist care and support to countless more families. There are still thousands of young people living with cancer, without access to the care and encouragement of specialist nurses. No one should face cancer alone, and the proceeds from the Awards would help to ensure that fewer young people will.