WHAT £25 CAN DO
I felt miserable... but Teenage Cancer Trust made it more bearable
TEENAGE Cancer Trust is the only UK charity meeting the need for specialised nursing and emotional support for 13 to 24-year-olds.
But currently it can only help half of young people with cancer. It needs YOUR support to maintain 28 units and fund the specialist nursing staff who help run them.
And the charity needs to fund an outreach nursing and support service to help young people unable to access a unit.
It costs £25 to fund a Teenage Cancer Trust youth support co-ordinator for one hour. These experts help young people share their experiences with each other, talk about their fears and, in this way, help them gain some control over cancer in a relaxed environment.
To fund a nurse specialist for one hour providing direct and age-specific care and support to youngsters costs £30. Whether you can give £2.50 or £25, £30 or £3, your vital donation will help the Teenage Cancer Trust #GiveAnHour of support to young people with cancer across the UK.
Owen says charity helps during chemo OWEN Bentley knows how vital the Teenage Cancer Trust can be when facing the terrifying ordeal of a cancer diagnosis.
He was told he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in early 2018 at 17 after suffering leg pains for a year. Owen was treated on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where he has received four rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant this year.
Now 18, the former student had a stem cell top-up this week and is hoping to be put in remission in 2019. He said the Teenage Cancer Trust helped him through a very hard year.
“When I was diagnosed it was a surreal experience. I began chemotherapy days later. Soon after I came down with a chest infection and conjunctivitis. I felt awful, just so miserable,” said Owen of Cannock, West Mids. “But the Teenage Cancer Trust made it more bearable. There was a pizza night and breakfast morning on the unit.
“They helped keep my mind off the cancer a bit, which was good.”
It helped having people the same age to talk to OWEN ON TEENAGE CANCER TRUST UNIT
Owen had his stem cell transplant in August and spent a month in hospital in isolation to avoid getting infections. He said:
“I spent my 18th birthday there with only close family allowed to visit. My grandad couldn’t come as he had a cold. It was really rough.”
He was discharged after the transplant but readmitted in September for nine days with an infection. “When I was discharged again the charity’s key support co-ordinator Sarah texted to see how I was – it’s nice to know she’s always there if I need her,” he said. “I’ve spent time on normal wards too, but because I was 17 nurses never knew whether to put me with children or adults – or how to treat me.
“But at the unit there was a girl a year younger than me and shortly after that a lad the same age. It really helped having people to talk to.”
His mum Lucy, 50, said: “The Teenage Cancer Trust helps parents too. You can speak to other parents about what you and your family are going through, knowing they get it. And the nurses take the time to chat. It makes the whole thing more manageable.”
Owen is positive about the New Year. “It will be nice to be able to relax and celebrate,” he said.
Molly made friends as she battled her cancer All clear and up for ChristmasGRATEFUL