Posted on Thursday 28 November 2019

in News

Laura Crane Youth Trust partner with CLIC Sargent to support over 100 young people with cancer

A local charity that was set up in memory of a young woman who passed away from cancer has helped CLIC Sargent to support more than one hundred other young people facing cancer in Lancashire.

The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust (LCYCT) has for three years funded a Young People Social Worker for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people. The Trust was founded in memory of Laura Crane, who passed away from cancer aged 17 in 1996.

The Trust has supported CLIC Sargent’s work in Lancashire and surrounding areas by funding half the costs of a social worker post for the past three years. The role is split between two part-time social workers based at The Christie Manchester and Preston. Over the three year partnership, LCYCT contributed £61,202 to help CLIC Sargent provide wrap-around care to 139 young people with cancer.

LCYCT support young people aged 13 to 24 with cancer through targeted cancer research and support projects to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

One of the young people who has been supported by the partnership and a social worker, is 19-year-old Ben Hall, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2017 when he was just 16.

Ben, from Darwen, was diagnosed with cancer two months after leaving secondary school and just after he started an apprenticeship to become a joiner/carpenter.

Ben said: “When I was younger, I always helped my grandad with his building projects and I really enjoyed it. I also do not like the idea of sitting in a classroom or an office, so the thought of getting a practical, hands-on job was great.”

Ben (left) at a festival with his friend.

Prior to his diagnosis, Ben was very active, playing football and cricket every week; with no signs of illness.

“I first thought something wasn’t right when my barber noticed a lump on the side of my neck.”

Ben went to the doctors after telling his parents about the lump. Initially the doctor wasn’t concerned but decided to do precautionary tests and further follow ups when the results weren’t quite what was expected.

“It all then happened in a rush. I was diagnosed almost immediately, but it was a while before I realised what was happening and it shocked me. I hadn’t any idea that it could be cancer.

“What followed were two lots of surgery and radioiodine treatment. My mum and dad drove me over to Manchester where I had the treatment, and they stayed in one of the ‘parent’s rooms’that’s available for families at the Christie so that I wouldn’t be by myself. I have been left with anxiety after treatment.

“While I have had to take a lot of time off work, this has all served as a massive encouragement to start enjoying myself and living life more.”

During treatment, Ben and his family received vital support from their CLIC Sargent social worker Peegan.

Marie said: “Peegan gave us advice and support with work but also the services on offer, as well as helping us to apply for a grant when Ben was first diagnosed.

“We got back in contact with Pegeen in November following a very tricky period with Ben’s health. We needed help on how best to support Ben in dealing with a few setbacks and were given practical advice and emotional support.

“Without CLIC Sargent’s help, we would have struggled to support Ben and find the way forward.”

Two years after his diagnosis, Ben is now living life like any 19-year-old his mum said. As of March 2019, he had completed the first year of his apprenticeship and had embarked on the second.

“He is going to festivals and has been on his first all-boys holiday to Zante. He is now back doing his carpentry and joinery apprenticeship full time and enjoying it. “

Ben now has four monthly appointments with his consultant at The Christies which he attends with his parents along with Pegeen.

Marie said: “By Pegeen attending the appointments it enables us to clarify any points and for Pegeen to support us, for example organising a room for us to stay in when Ben is an inpatient and explaining the process of Ben’s treatment and the implications of it to his place of work, so that they can best support him.

“On a personal note Ben is looking forward to celebrating his 19th Birthday in November and planning to go to a festival in Amsterdam for New Year.”

CLIC Sargent Senior Philanthropy Fundraiser Eleanor Ryskin, said: “The incredible support and grant CLIC Sargent has received from the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust has helped us to be there for more than one hundred young people living with cancer.

“We want to say a huge thank you for everything they have done to help us be there for people like Ben. Our social workers provide emotional, practical and financial support to young people and they couldn’t do what they do without the Trust.”

To find out more about the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent, visit lauracranetrust.org and clicsargent.org.uk.

ENDS 

For more information about CLIC Sargent, an interview or images, please contact Jack Wilson on 020 8752 2833 or jack.wilson@clicsargent.org.uk. Out of hours contact 08448 481189.

About cancer in children and young people

Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that 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

When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. 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.

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