Calling All Teenagers - Teenagers With Cancer Need Your Help!!
You all know about the trials and troubles in getting people to stop treating you like a child or expecting you to act like an adult.
You are a teenager in your own right, able to make up your own mind and with lots in common with people of your own age. Now, imagine finding out that you have cancer and that you have to go into hospital, miles away from home, to receive 'heavy duty' treatment that can make you feel really ill. You might have your education or your search for work interrupted. You might lose contact with your school, friends, university. As well as being very ill, you might lose your hair, your looks, have to have surgery. There is a chance that you might even die.
Now, imagine that when you go into hospital you either end up on a children's ward, with a bed too small for you, teddy bear curtains and toddlers around your feet or, you could be sent to a ward full of elderly people, many of whom are there only to die. What could be more depressing?
This is how the National Health Service (NHS) organised things for teenagers until the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) came along. In some areas it still does!
TCT builds wards in NHS hospitals that are specially adapted for teenagers. They are bright, vibrant places with computers, playstations, hi-fis, videos, a kitchen where hospital food can be avoided, games areas to socialise with friends and family. As one of our teenagers said, "A good place to be if you're having a bad time."
Most important is the fact that teenagers come together and give each other comradeship and vital support. That is priceless, and every teenager who has been in one of our units will tell you so.
We also provide other services especially for teenagers. This year, we funded the first Teenage Conference for teenagers, and it is mainly being run by teenagers with cancer. The title spells out just how different it is going to be - "Finding your own Sense of Tumour". It was held on the 20th April at Manchester Unitedís Conference Centre.
TCT has a strong schools programme, providing education and advice to pupils in secondary schools. Next year we plan to expand that to include youth clubs and groups around the UK. TCT has six units in the UK, two in London, one in each of Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester, and needs up to 20 to make sure that all UK teenagers with cancer have access to a service particularly for them.
We raise funds any way we can. On 27 November,2000 The Who with special guests Noel Gallagher, Bryan Adams, Nigel Kennedy, Kelley Jones, Eddie Vedder and Phil Jupitus, put on a storming concert at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of TCT.
It was brilliant and will have raised £I,000.000. Watch out for the D.V.D. due out in the spring. We hope this will raise funds for two new units in Liverpool and Southampton. We also have a unit being developed in Sheffield, and there is interest from Glasgow and Wales.
This year at the end of May will see our first National Bandanna Week, which will have loads of celebs and stars involved. We want as many of you lot as possible buying them (£5) and wearing them and getting the message across.
So, we need all the help we can get! The longer it takes to raise the money to build the units, the more teenagers will suffer the indignity of being put on an inappropriate ward.
It doesn't matter how little or how much you can raise, everything helps and, it is just as important to us to get the message across to more people.
If you want more information write, telephone email, visit our website or just drop in.
Help us to make a real difference to people just like you!!
Teenage Cancer Trust
54a Tottenham Court Road
London W1T 2EL
Tel: 020 7436 2877
Fax: 010 7637 4302