Teenager's appeal for cancer unit

A brave cancer patient from is calling on the public to back a �1m campaign to build a specialist teenage cancer unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital.The project aims to give youngsters across the region their own designated cancer treatment ward for the first time - after previously either having to go into an adult or baby ward.

A brave cancer patient is calling on the public to back a �1m campaign to build a specialist teenage cancer unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

The project aims to give youngsters across the region their own designated cancer treatment ward for the first time - after previously either having to go into an adult or baby ward.

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Robinson, from Brandon, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2005 and after a 14-hour operation went on to an adult ward where she felt isolated and under-supported.

Now undergoing counselling to talk her way through the experience she should have been sharing with her teenage peers, she is determined other children in the county will not go through the unpleasant experience she endured.


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“I think a teenage cancer ward is a really good idea. Having thyroid cancer I was treated like an adult, so you do not get a lot of support. You are not offered counselling or anyone to talk to and if you are together with all teenagers it is a lot more supportive.

“People my age understand and it is a bit daunting when you are 12-13. It is really scary. You have Macmillan things but there is nothing for youngsters, children and teenagers. You really do feel on your own,” she said.

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Jordan is now in remission, although still suffers problems with her breathing and horrendous bouts of joint pains on a daily basis.

Despite currently being too unwell to make it to Methwold High School she is still being predicted seven A grades in her GCSEs this summer, despite missing two-and-a-half years. She has been accepted into sixth form wants to qualify at university to work with children who have cancer.

Currently, the nearest teenager unit for cancer patients is in London or Birmingham. The charity has set itself the target of raising the �1m for a 10-bed facility at Addenbrooke's, in Cambridge. The appeal has so far raised �78,000.

Nella Probert, the Suffolk chairman of the Teenage Cancer Trust East Anglian appeal, said: “Sue (deputy chair) and I got involved because we both have teenage children ourselves and can only imagine what it would be like for one of them to have to face up to cancer and then be treated on an adult or children's ward - especially as we know that young people have a much better chance in their fight against cancer if they are treated in a specialist unit.”

Anyone interested in making a donation to the Addenbrooke's Appeal can send a cheque made out to Teenage Cancer Trust - Suffolk Appeal addressed to: TCT, PO Box 1105, Cambridge CB22 3WZ.

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