A state-of-the-art unit for teenagers with cancer at a Leeds hospital has been officially opened by Angela Griffin.
The Leeds-born actress was guest of honour at the Teenage Cancer Trust facility at Leeds General Infirmary.
It will provide 12 beds for patients aged between 13 and 16 and replaces a unit at St James’s Hospital as all children’s care has now moved from there to LGI.
Angela Griffin said: “Dealing with cancer is frightening. Being taken away from your normal life, your friends and put in a cancer ward with small children or older people is unimaginable. Teenage Cancer Trust doesn’t believe this is right as teenagers with cancer shouldn’t have to stop being teenagers. These units are great and become a home away from home from the young people treated on them.”
Patient Tabitha Hazeldine, 24, was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 20.
She was initially treated on an adult ward, before being moved to Teenage Cancer Trust’s unit in Leeds.
She said: “I really didn’t like it on the adult ward. I was the youngest person there and didn’t have anyone to talk to. I got moved to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward for my radiotherapy and it was so much better. The treatment was still unpleasant but I could at least talk to others my own age and have access to entertainment. It was so much more relaxed and definitely made a massive difference to my experience.”
The unit includes a four bed bay, four single en-suite bedrooms - all with Sky TV and a parent’s recliner -, a recreational room and a parent’s room.
Teenage Cancer Trust has also joint funded four en-suite bedrooms within the Bone Marrow Transplant ward and funded the enhancement of a three beds and a waiting room in the Day Case Ward.
Simon Davies, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust adds, “We are incredibly excited to see the unit up and running.”
To donate to the charity, contact Teenage Cancer Trust, 3rd Floor, 93 Newman Street, London, W1T 3EZ, or visit: www.teenagecancertrust.org