Posted on Wednesday 9 October 2019

in News

Sutton charity awards night for young people with cancer who defied the odds in their education

A night to remember from a national cancer charity took place on Saturday, 21st September in Sutton to celebrate the achievements of young people who have been dedicated themselves to their studies despite going through cancer treatment.

The award ceremony known as the Youth Achievement Awards (YAAs), organised by CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, saw up to 60 young people aged between 14 and 25 nominated from the Royal Marsden Hospital presented with a range of awards.

Attendees at the 2019 Youth Achievement Awards.

One of the winners was Tawanda Chamunora from Thamesmead, south east London. Tawanda was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2014 at age 18, 2 weeks before moving into university at University of Kent to study Sports Therapy.

He relapsed after his second year at university and had to defer a second time. Despite all of this and having to learn how to walk, talk and swallow following his treatment, Tawanda just completed his degree and graduated in July, 5 years after his first diagnosis.

“It was a really big moment for me to graduate, after deferring twice because of cancer treatment it felt great to finally finish especially after seeing my friends graduate before me. The support from CLIC Sargent helped me to keep on track with my education and not lose sight of the end goals which is so important.”

The awards are an amazing night, it’s great that everyone can get dressed up, feel special for the night and celebrate all the brilliant things everyone has achieved. Trying to keep up with your school or university work is a huge challenge when you’re going through treatment that can leave you feeling very sick and tired.”

Organiser and CLIC Sargent Social Worker, Charlotte Thomson, said: “Being diagnosed with cancer shouldn’t cost young people their education too. They are all winners in our eyes because they’ve really beaten the odds and shown that with the right support from CLIC Sargent they can achieve their goals even from hospital.

“As a charity, our team fight tirelessly to make sure everyone can thrive not just survive cancer and that’s what these awards are all about.”

Special thanks to My Fun Photo Booth who supply photo booth hire in Croydon and surrounding areas for their support on the night (for more information go to: https://myfunphotobooth.com/croydon-photo-booth-hire.html)

For more information about CLIC Sargent’s work go to www.clicsargent.org.uk.

Notes to editors

For more information about CLIC Sargent, an interview or images, please contact Jack Wilson on  0208 752 2833 or jack.wilson@clicsargent.org.uk. Out of hours contact 08448 481189.

 About cancer in children and young people

Today, 11 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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