Recognising the life-changing work of the Teenage Cancer Trust
The National Children of Wales Awards are proud to be supporting Teenage Cancer Trust. Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to providing specialist nursing care and support to young people with cancer.
Every day in the UK, around seven young people between the ages of 13-24 are diagnosed with cancer. Support begins from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment, and until the patient is cancer free.
Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity, funded by public donations. Without the generosity of the public, Teenage Cancer Trust simply wouldn’t be able to do the outstanding work it does in supporting young people and their families.
In their 2017/18 financial period, Teenage Cancer Trust spent £12.32 million directly on cancer services before during and after treatment. Every penny donated to Teenage Cancer Trust counts and without the generous support of the public the charity simply wouldn’t exist.
One of the young people Teenage Cancer Trust has supported is Nick from Bristol.
He was 18 years old and in the final year of his A-Levels when he began to feel unwell. After a troublesome cough that wouldn’t go away, Nick was referred to A&E for blood tests. Neither he nor his family expected what the results would reveal.
Nick was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), a cancer of the blood. He describes how his family were devastated, yet he was too shocked to grasp the seriousness of the situation:
“I couldn't really believe it and I just asked when I could go back to school. After a few days, it was apparent that wouldn't happen,” he said.
Nick had to endure four cycles of two different types of chemotherapy, which has left him with mild to moderate heart failure.
To begin with, Nick was based on the adult ward as there were no available beds in the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit. Most of the other patients were significantly older than him, and the rooms were very small.
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 nurses “felt more like friends”, explained Nick, praising them for not only checking up on patients physically, but also emotionally and mentally.
Now, Nick is excited for his future. He passed his A-Levels and received an unconditional offer to study Politics and International Relations at Sheffield University.
However, keen to soak up all that life has to offer, Nick is taking a gap year to explore Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. He still has to take precautions, by finding local hospitals that are able to take blood tests and send them back to his hospital, but remains hopeful.
Thanks to the Teenage Cancer Trust, Nick can live life again.
“It's great that I can still follow my dreams and live my life, and I am determined to make the most of every minute,” he said.
We can’t commend the efforts of the Teenage Cancer Trust enough. We are confident that the proceeds from the National Children of Wales Awards will change hundreds of lives, so more young people can have a positive outcome like Nick. We hope that you will support us in our efforts to have the work of this charity recognised.