At the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit in 2009 we initiated a global call for Commitments in the fight against cancer. Nearly 300 organizations, individuals, leaders and corporations made formal Commitments. As a way of highlighting their immense efforts in battling this disease, we will feature a different organization each week, sharing stories of progress and success from around the globe.
This week brings us over to the UK, to explore how Teenage Cancer Trust is positively impacting the lives of teens with cancer:
?Teenage Cancer Trust grew out of the dedication and passion of a group of women who discovered the plight of teenagers with cancer by chance. Whilst fundraising for a children’s intensive care heart unit at Guy’s Hospital, London, they met a mother whose son developed cancer at 13. He was treated at times in a children?s ward or alongside old people – making the experience far worse for him. The women met the young man?s consultant who explained that not only did young people have to face the trauma of cancer, its treatment, and isolation from their peers at a very sensitive stage of life, but that they also tended to get rare cancers. The women went on to raise funds to build the very first Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Middlesex Hospital in London in 1990.?
Since that time, the organization has committed to not only building specialist units in NHS hospitals in order to improve the quality of life and chances of survival for young people with cancer; they also provide psychosocial support for patients and their families, fund research projects that seek to enhance services for teenagers with cancer, and educate nearly 180,000 students and teachers about young adult cancer every year. In 2009, as part of LIVESTRONG?s Global Cancer Campaign, Teenage Cancer Trust committed to providing continuing education in the field of young adult cancer by facilitating an online training course. Working in partnership with the University of Coventry to provide a Post Graduate Certificate in Cancer Care for Teenagers and Young Adults, the online course Teenage Cancer Trust has created aims to introduce the theory and practice of caring for teenagers and young adults with cancer and their family to students for advanced practice level. It has been developed through an international curriculum development group so that it reflects the different health care cultures that exist and supports students as they explore new ways of working together.
In addition, Teenage Cancer Trust plans to plans to build enough specialist units in the UK so that, by 2012, every single teenager in the region can have access to the support they provide. LIVESTRONGcommends Teenage Cancer Trust on their incredible work in the field of young adult cancer! We can fight this disease together ? one country at a time.