Here at RedCat Digital, we’re a family. One member of our family, head of content Neil Rogers, received some difficult news recently. Harry, his 15-year-old son, has been diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia – also called bone marrow failure. It’s a really rare and serious condition where the bone marrow and stem cells don’t produce enough blood cells.
Right now, Harry is undergoing daily blood transfusions to try and correct his blood count and temporarily relieve his symptoms. Next week, he’ll start intensive chemotherapy to prepare his immune system for a bone marrow transplant – which he is receiving from his sister Dina.
It’s undoubtedly a difficult time for all involved, but one organisation that’s providing practical help is the Teenage Cancer Trust. Harry is being treated on a specialist teenage cancer trust ward in hospital – a ward that has been designed specifically for teenagers, with the hope of making the hospital feel a little more comfortable.
Not only does the ward receive funding from the Teenage Cancer Trust, but the charity also pays for two expert staff who work there: a specialist nurse consultant and a youth support coordinator.
The work of the Teenage Cancer Trust
The charity, which is the only organisation in the UK that provides specialist nursing care and support for teenagers, runs 28 specialist units in the UK. These world-class facilities, the charity says, provide a home away from home for young people when they’re receiving treatment.
For the Teenage Cancer Trust, these units are about giving teenagers the ability to be themselves despite a cancer diagnosis. That means that the wards are planned down to the smallest detail to make them “as comfortable and pleasant to stay in as possible”.
As well as that, the charity also funds 48 specialist nurses and youth support coordinators, like the ones helping Harry, across the country. Most of the charity’s money goes directly into treating cancer, and most of that goes towards helping young people during their treatment, with some towards aftercare.
One of the well-known effects of some cancer treatments is hair loss. For some, it’s one of the hardest parts of chemotherapy, and it can be particularly difficult for young people. The Teenage Cancer Trust joined forces with award-winning hairdresser Charlie Miller in 2007 to create Hair4U, which provides real-hair wigs for cancer sufferers aged up to 24. The Little Princess Trust now handles Hair4U, but it’s part of the charity’s lasting legacy.
What we’re doing to help
We want to raise as much money as we can for Teenage Cancer Trust so that teens like Harry don’t have their lives turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis, and they can be treated in environments that are meant for them.
We’ll be hosting a launch party for our new brand on 15 October – which we’ll be releasing more information about next week. There, we’ll kick off our fundraising efforts by auctioning off various prizes and experiences. Watch this space for more info: we’ll be continuing the fundraising efforts at Christmas, too.
This is a cause close to our hearts, and we’re sure it’s important to you, too. We’d appreciate any help you can offer.