Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski helped officially open the first specialist teenage cancer unit in the south west of England on Tuesday.
Pic: Judd and Jack play pool on the Teenage Cancer Trust table with a young cancer patient
Teenage Cancer Trust patron Sarah, Duchess of York, joined Trump and Lisowski in opening Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC), the first specialist Teenage Cancer Trust unit in the South West for local young people with cancer.
Each year, over 200 young people from Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, are diagnosed with cancer. Across the UK, seven are diagnosed every day. Traditionally treated either on a children’s ward or on an adult ward often alongside elderly patients, young people can feel extremely isolated during treatment, some never meeting another young person with cancer. Being treated alongside others their own age, by experts in teenage and young adult cancer care, can make a huge difference to their experience.
Thanks to fundraising support from local communities, a volunteer committee chaired by Lady Wills, Trust funding from The Garfield Weston Foundation and the John James Bristol Foundation and generous help from corporate partners Home Retail Group, The Football Association, MandM Direct and Societe Generale, Teenage Cancer Trust raised £2.5million to open this new eight bed unit. Named Area 61 by the patients and taking ten months to build, the state-of-the-art unit offers 16 to 24 year olds a place to receive treatment where they can feel at home.
Former UK Champion Trump, from Bristol, and up-and-coming Lisowski, from Churchdown, are both ambassadors for Teenage Cancer Trust. Lisowski himself successfully battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as a teenager. He said: “It’s a fantastic moment to be here today and the unit is so much better than we could have ever imagined. Teenage Cancer Trust is an amazing organisation and I only wish I had benefitted from being treated here.”
Siobhan Dunn, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment in Teenage Cancer Trust’s history as it’s our first specialist unit in the South West. It’s a remarkable facility and we are very much hoping that local communities and businesses will continue supporting our work here as we need to raise a £1,000 a day to maintain the unit, fund specialist staff and continue our free cancer awareness sessions in schools across the region.”
Teenage Cancer Trust is now appealing to local communities to continue supporting its work with young people with cancer. The charity relies on donations and a £1,000 a day needs to be raised to maintain the new unit, fund specialist staff and support the free cancer awareness sessions that are delivered in schools, colleges and universities across the South West. To lend your support email [email protected] or call 07908 433385. For more information visit www.teenagecancertrust.org