On the 5th September 2008, Lucy was diagnosed with having a cancerous brain tumour, just 6 weeks before her 18th birthday. As Lucy was 17 when she was diagnosed, she qualified to be treated in the children’s ward along with other teenagers. However, this would not have been the case if she was 18, as she would have been treated as an adult. Being treated on a children’s ward was very difficult for her and other teenagers in the same situation, but it would have been far worse to be in an adult ward.
Throughout Lucy’s treatment she never met anyone her own age. Most of the time she was around screaming children and toddlers, so there wasn’t anybody to talk to who could relate to what she was going through. Lucy only met other teenagers when she got involved with Teenage Cancer Trust after her treatment had finished.
Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) are the only charity dedicated to providing specialist nursing care and support when they need it most. They raise funds to open wards all over the country so that young people from the age of 13-24 can be treated together on special wards in order for them to have friends to talk to and share experiences with – essentially trying to lead as much of a normal life as possible. As well as this, they give young people great experiences and fun times to help them forget sometimes what they are going through.
Lucy got involved with the TCT after she finished her treatment. They helped her see the positive side of cancer and have been a big support to her, which led her to seeing the benefits of what has happened to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey. They now have a ward especially for teenagers that was built and designed by the people at TCT who see that teenager cancer is different from young children’s or even adult cancer. Everyone gets their own room with flip down TV’s and speakers in the bathroom. There are also communal rooms, with pool tables, video games, comfy sofas and jukeboxes, where teenagers receiving treatment can group up and fight the disease together. They take the clinical look out of the hospital and make it a great place to be whilst facing such a horrible time.
“I’ve been backstage at 2 of their shows at the Royal Albert Hall, getting to meet many of my favourite comedians. I’ve also been on stage at a Paul McCartney concert alongside Roger Daltrey (Patron of TCT) to tell my story, which was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had! I’ve had so many experiences with TCT, including writing a song with some fellow patients of the Royal Marsden, of which we recorded in a professional recording studio and performed at TCT’s 21st Birthday Party in 2011.
They’ve helped me out a lot since treatment, even getting me some work experience at Absolute Radio, as my dream is to work in the industry. Myself and my Mum have helped to raise over £15,000 for TCT and will continue to support this fantastic charity that has helped me and others so much.”
If you want to find out more about Lucy and her story, then please visit her blog – https://thelptumour.com
Old Thorns are delighted to support such a worthy charity. Sally who is Lucy’s mother works for Old Thorns and she and Lucy have shared with us their journey through Lucy’s cancer and what TCT means to them.
“I will never forget the time Lucy spoke in front of 5000 people at the Royal Albert Hall about her cancer journey, alongside Roger Daltrey and just before Paul McCartney came on stage.
Needless to say, I was blubbing in the wings, so proud of how far she had come from being a shy young girl to a confident young lady ready to help others in the same situation. Lucy on the other hand was enjoying every minute on stage and was swamped when she came out the stage door later with people congratulating her and even asking for her autograph.
We couldn’t stop grinning all the way home on the train, containing our excitement and when we finally got into the car on our own we screamed and laughed so loudly about the day and we have never forgotten it.
Lucy has been amazing ever since and her confidence is all down to her courage and determination but also down to the amazing experiences and times that Teenage Cancer Trust have given her. We will always be eternally grateful to them and have raised funds since then and will continue to support the charity in the future.”
TCT now has 28 specialist units across the UK with 48 nurses and youth support co-ordinators to help people like Lucy when she was 17 to go through their journey in a less isolated environment.
If you would like to find out more about the TCT or would like to support them, then please visit their website – https://www.teenagecancertrust.org/