Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for the six young people aged between13 and 24 diagnosed with cancer every day. We build specialist units within NHS hospitals bringing young people together to be treated by teenage cancer experts in a place designed just for them.
We want every young person with cancer to have access to this specialist support, no matter where they live.
Traditionally treated alongside children or elderly patients at the end of their lives, young people can feel extremely isolated and alone during their treatment, some never meeting another young person with cancer. Being treated alongside others their own age can make a huge difference to their whole experience.
Teenage Cancer Trust believes young people’s lives shouldn’t stop because they have cancer, so we treat them as young people first, cancer patients second. We exist to ensure they have access to the best possible care and professional support from the point of diagnosis.
We know providing a place that feels more ‘normal’ and less like an institution helps young people cope with the devastation and chaos of cancer and its grueling treatments. Our units are designed to feel like a home from home, where young people will be comfortable. The walls are bright, the furniture is funky, there might be pool tables and a jukebox, and there’s always a place to watch films and surf the net.
We have two units in the Merseyside and North Wales area – at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral. Within our units we fund specialist staff, including nurses and youth support co-ordinators. Experts in teenage and young adult cancer care, they provide the best possible clinical, psychological and social care.
Teenage Cancer Trust also educates young people about cancer, providing free talks to schools, colleges and universities. Cancer in young people is rare but we want young people to know the common signs and symptoms so they can seek medical advice if they are worried. These include unexplained and persistent: pain, swellings, lumps, bleeding, bruising, headaches, extreme tiredness, night sweats, cough, sore throat, hoarse voice or weight loss; changes in the size, shape and colour of a mole; or a change in bowel habits.
Teenage Cancer Trust provides a range of other services for young people and their families:
• Find your Sense of Tumour: an annual weekend which brings over 300 young people together to help them understand and deal with the physical and psychological effects of cancer
• jimmyteens.org: an innovative programme which enables young people to share their cancer experiences creatively through video diaries, films and animation. Teenagecancertrust.org: an award winning website and support network for young people with cancer.
• International Conference on Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Medicine: the primary event for those working in the field to keep ahead of developments, and to share information and best practice from around the world.
• Medical courses – We also fund courses for medical professionals at all levels, so they can improve how they treat young people with cancer.
For more information, visit www.teenagecancertrust.org
HOW COULD YOU HELP?
Could provide an hour of vital nursing care by a specialist who understands what it is like for a young person fighting cancer, to help them feel less frightened about what is ahead.
Could buy a console game for patients to play with their friends, or a complementary therapy session to help young people recover from the stress of treatment.
Could provide a flip camera for a young person to share their story with others on the jimmyteens website, to help others through the pain of cancer.£100…
Could enable a young person to come together with 29 others for a music therapy workshop that are arranged each year back stage at our Royal Albert Hall concerts.£250…
Could pay for a young person to attend our “Find your Sense of Tumour” conference and allow them to meet others with cancer, often for the first time.
Could fund the activity budget for one of our Youth Support Coordinators for a year, ensuring loads of distracting and engaging activities for young people who may have to stay on a Teenage Cancer Unit for many weeks or months.
Could pay for 2,500 young people in local schools, colleges and universities to have an engaging and upbeat talk about how to spot the early signs and symptoms of cancer, and how to prevent cancer in later life.
We rely solely on donations to fund our vital work.
There are loads of ways to get involved, as an individual, part of a group or at work, and help transform the lives of young people with cancer.
We are currently looking to develop volunteer fundraising groups to plan and co-ordinate fundraising activity. This could be organising a collection, holding a coffee morning, organising a quiz night, or you might have your own ideas. There are no specific skills or experience required, but enthusiasm and positivity are a must!Get Wiggy With It:
Young people with cancer, image and identity are increasingly important as they can lose their freedom, social life, and as a result
of treatment, their hair. Wear a wig to work, at school, or in your community in support of Teenage Cancer Trust, donate £1 and help give teenagers the fight and attitude they need to beat cancer.Time for T:
Have some fun and raise a ton in May! Host a T party, Take of a physical Test, Dress to a T, Try your hand at Shaun Rankin’s Treacle Tart recipe, Take part in a Taste Test or your own Thing. It really is that simple.
Make Teenage Cancer Trust your charity this year:
If you belong to a company, club or other organisation that is involved with supporting charities, then get in touch! We can come and talk to you about the work that we do, and why your support is so important. Then we will work with you every step of the way to make sure you have everything you need and that your fundraising is a success!
These are just some ideas, but we’d love to hear yours too! To find out more about how you can make a difference, contact Sian Day – Regional Fundraiser for North Wales & Merseyside – on 07946 607392 or email@example.com