Twitter’s ‘unofficial poet laureate’ pens #cancercosts poem during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Poet Brian Bilston has written a poem based on the findings of CLIC Sargent’s research into the cost of cancer. The poem, called Cancer Costs, highlights the financial struggle families go through when their child is diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer costs by Brian Bilston

Brian Bilston

Brian BilstonDubbed the "unofficial poet laureate of Twitter", Brian Bilston has become an online sensation, tweeting original poems and bringing poetry to a new and wider audience.

Brian said: “Cancer is obviously a difficult topic to write about - particularly for someone like me, who often writes 'light' verse. With Cancer Costs I came at it from a slightly different angle and wanted to shine a light on the financial costs for families – particularly as it’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”

Cancer costs campaign

CLIC Sargent’s Cancer costs campaign focuses on the financial impact of cancer on young cancer patients and their families. Our research found parents spend an average of £600 extra a month during their child’s treatment on things likes travel, food and other expenses. Energy bills, car related costs and parking are parents’ biggest financial concerns.

Cancer Costs by Brian Bilston

This poem has cancer.

A lump of letters in a swollen stanza

and here we are: our monthly visit

to the poetry clinic,

flushing out the enemy

with a double dose of rhymotherapy.

The course is intensive.

Expensive, too.

Specialist care isn’t near;

it takes a full toner cartridge to get here

and we have to stay for weeks, sometimes.

It’s then I wish that I could find 

the money for some special treat.

Glossy paper is not cheap.

More time is spent away than home;

so there’s no work on other poems,

no other income coming in.

Pockets and patience wear thin.

We cannot afford 

to be unsupported.

And every poem 

needs its poet.

Cancer costs.

You should know this.

Brian Bilston

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2016

This September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, CLIC Sargent is focussing on the financial impact of cancer. It’s vital families can access the financial support they need.

Stand by young cancer patients and their families - join our Cancer costs campaign and donate online this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.