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Sarah, Duchess of York and HRH Princess Eugenie help celebrate second birthday of young person’s cancer unit at Alder Hey

Teenage Cancer Trust Honorary Patrons Sarah, Duchess of York HRH Princess Eugenie, joined young people and staff at the Teenage Cancer Trust funded facility within the Oncology Unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, for a birthday bash to mark two years since the specialist unit opened.

The guests met young people aged 13-19 who are undergoing treatment for various types of cancer, and learned more about the range of support that is provided within this state of the art unit.

Originally opened in 2003 at the old Alder Hey Children’s Hospital site, Teenage Cancer Trust provided £500k to help Alder Hey enhance a dedicated teenage and young adult facility within the new hospital’s oncology unit in 2015. There are 4 en-suite in-patient bedrooms and a day care bay with a further two beds. The rooms are bright and colourful and contain TV, laptop, games consoles and free wi-fi. There is also a social space with home cinema system, pool table, jukebox and breakfast bar.

Teenage Cancer Trust worked with patients on the design, making it feel more like a home from home than a hospital ward, and a space where young people can get together to support each other through treatment.

Sarah, Duchess of York, is a long-standing and tireless supporter of Teenage Cancer Trust. She officially opened the charity’s first specialist cancer unit in 1990, and has attended almost all of the charity’s 28 subsequent new unit openings across the UK. In this time she has met thousands of young people with cancer and been a passionate advocate for raising awareness of the issues they face and of the innovative support Teenage Cancer Trust provides.

Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice were introduced to the charity by their mother and became Honorary Patrons in 2016. They have visited many Teenage Cancer Trust units, including of the Great North Children’s Hospital in 2010, The Royal Marsden Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, both in in 2012, and UCLH on Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday.

Sarah, Duchess of York, said: “I’ve been a proud supporter of Teenage Cancer Trust since day one when they opened their first unit at the old Middlesex Hospital in London, and have seen first-hand the significant difference these units, and the incredible staff, make to young people’s lives. Every young person with cancer should have access to this specialist support, and we have ambitious plans to achieve this. It was a pleasure meeting so many inspiring young people at Alder Hey today.”

Kate Collins, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: ““It was a pleasure seeing our Honorary Patrons bring so much fun and positivity to the young people they met today, helping us celebrate the incredible support provided at this unit.

“Right now, for every young person with cancer that we reach, there’s another we can’t. We’re determined to change that. We urgently need to raise more funds so we can expand our team of Teenage Cancer Trust nurses so we can support all young people with cancer who need us.  The commitment and support of our Honorary Patrons is so important in helping us move towards this goal.”

Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said: “It was an honour to welcome the Duchess of York and HRH Princess Eugenie to join in the celebrations here at Alder Hey and meet some of our young patients. Alder Hey is a Centre of Excellence for treating children and young people with cancer and we are extremely proud of the facilities in our new hospital ‘Alder Hey in the Park’. We are very grateful to the Teenage Cancer Trust for their generous support. This has enabled us to make vital enhancements to the teenage area of our Oncology Unit, creating a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed for young people.”

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