Young people supported by CLIC Sargent were the guests of honour at a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Samantha Cameron on 10 May.
The charity was invited to the iconic address to help raise awareness of its vital work supporting children and young people with cancer, and their families.
About 100 people attended the reception, including CLIC Sargent ambassadors sports presenter Jake Humphrey and his wife Harriet, broadcaster Alice Beer and photographer Richard Young and his wife Susan.
During the event Alice Beer interviewed 19-year-old Danielle McGriskin, whose family has been supported by CLIC Sargent since she was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 14.
A huge support
Danielle said: “It was incredible to have the opportunity to go to 10 Downing Street. I really enjoyed the evening and it was a great chance to talk about the support CLIC Sargent is able to provide to young people and their families.
“CLIC Sargent has been a huge support throughout my journey. They enabled my family to be together over Christmas at a CLIC Sargent Home from Home when I had to move to Bristol for some of my cancer treatment.
"I also have a wonderful CLIC Sargent Social Worker called Simon who has been an amazing support, helping me move forward from diagnosis to treatment and on to hopefully achieving my dreams of attending university in September.”
Danielle was joined at the reception by several other young people who have been supported by CLIC Sargent.
Jason Loo, 25, from London, was diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 22. He had just taken his finals at university when he was diagnosed and his CLIC Sargent Social Worker was able to provide vital practical and emotional support.
Drama teacher Emily Davies, 25, from Kent was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 22 and was helped through her treatment by her CLIC Sargent Social Worker.
Duncan Cathie, 20, from Cheshire has been supported by the charity since being diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 16. He is now a member of CLIC Sargent’s young people’s advisory group.
Sophia Steinsberg and her family, from Oxfordshire, were supported by CLIC Sargent when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma aged 12. The charity was able to arrange for a nurse to visit regularly and Sophia, now 20, and her family have continued to regularly fundraise for and promote the charity.
Francesca Wheatley, aged 21, from Lancashire, was 14 when she was told she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. CLIC Sargent helped her cope with the physical and emotional impact of cancer and she is now a committed member of the charity’s young people’s advisory group.
During the evening guests were also shown a film about CLIC Sargent’s work while CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Kate Lee spoke about the charity’s ambitions to provide even more vital support to young people and their families across the UK.
Kate Lee said: “It was fantastic to be invited to Number 10 and we’re so grateful to Samantha Cameron for welcoming us to her home.
"Our young people are at the heart of everything we do so it was an honour to hear from them during the evening and find out more about the impact a cancer diagnosis has had on their lives and the difference CLIC Sargent was able to make.
“We are determined to be there for every child and young person diagnosed with cancer who needs our support and the Downing Street reception was a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of the work we are doing and the plans we have to continue changing what it means to be diagnosed with cancer when you’re young.”
CLIC Sargent supports 0 to 24-year-olds who are diagnosed with cancer from the point of diagnosis onwards. It provides financial support through grants, emotional and practical help through its social workers and nurses and free accommodation during treatment at its Homes from Homes near hospitals.
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For more information, an interview or images please contact Helen Thomas on 020 8752 2855 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Outside office hours please call 08448 481189.
About cancer in children and young people
Every day, 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.
About CLIC Sargent
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. We provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. For more information visit www.clicsargent.org.uk
Note to sub editors
Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.