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.

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.

One of the four charities the National Children of Wales Awards is supporting is Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru.

Made up of the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, and a team of health professionals that support young people with cancer – before, during and after treatment – the Trust provides specialist care and support for teenagers and young people ages 14-24 years old with cancer from Wales.

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. The support and expert treatment needed is crucial to be able to help them through receiving the devastating news of hearing the word “cancer”. Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru is dedicated to making sure each young person diagnosed with cancer is supported throughout their very difficult journey.

A young person with cancer is entitled to receive support from the Trust’s specialist expert team, regardless of where they decide to have their treatment. The Trust creates world-class cancer services for young people in the UK, providing life-changing care and support so young people don’t have to face cancer alone.

Debbie Jones, regional fundraising manager Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru, said:

“We’re delighted to have been chosen as one of the four charities to benefit from the National Children of Wales awards in 2020.

“Their support will help to raise much needed awareness of the work of Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru and will enable us to continue to provide vital specialist care for young people with cancer throughout Wales. On behalf of everyone at Teenage Cancer Trust and the young people we support – thank you!”