Wednesday 8th February 2017

UK

London, 9 February – Former patients, beneficiaries and staff from three of the UK’s leading youth charities joined Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) employees yesterday to raise awareness and receive donations of £150,000 which will go to each of the three organisations. 

A portion of the day’s trading revenues from a selection of RBC’s European Global Markets and Treasury & Markets Services businesses has helped fund donations to three pre-eminent youth causes: Great Ormond Street Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Teenage Cancer Trust. The event, held in London for the first time, builds on “RBC Trade for the Kids” events first held in New York in 2015.  

Throughout the “RBC Trade for the Kids” day, the bank’s City trading floor hosted inspirational and courageous former patients, families and employees from the charity partners who interacted with clients and engaged with RBC employees to explain how the charities help patients and families like them.  

Amongst the inspirational patients was 19-year-old Cameron Stewart who inspired employees as he talked about his lifesaving surgery to remove a brain tumour at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Sam Exworth, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 16 and was treated on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit, passionately spoke about his experience as a young person with cancer and the care and support he has received from the charity. The Lilley and Wort families also explained to RBC employees the vital difference being able to stay close to their children made while they received life-saving treatment, thanks to Ronald McDonald House. [See notes for more information.]

RBC has a long-standing commitment to supporting youth- related causes around the world and in our local communities. Dave Thomas, CEO, RBC Capital Markets, Europe said:  “It is wonderful to be able to bring RBC Trade for the Kids to the UK this year, and for our clients and employees to understand more about the vital work these charities do. This event allows us to give back to three incredibly deserving causes that resonate strongly with all our employees. We are grateful to our partner charities, our clients and our employees for their fantastic support.”

Tim Johnson, Chief Executive, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, said: “As part of our longstanding and special partnership, we are thrilled that Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity was part of Royal Bank of Canada’s first ever “Trade for the Kids” dayin the UK. All the money raised today will go directly to the hospital and make a real difference to seriously ill children across the UK. Thank you very much to everyone involved.” 

Jon Haward, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities, commented: “This is an exciting time for the Charity and never has our need for support been greater. We have ambitious plans to help hundreds more families stay close to their sick children by building new Ronald McDonald Houses across the UK. Royal Bank of Canada and its employees have given us a tremendous boost, and we have been delighted by their energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Our thanks to all involved.”

Siobhan Dunn, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “We are hugely grateful to Royal Bank of Canada for choosing us as one of their three charities to benefit from their first ever “Trade for the Kids” event in London. The money raised by the team at Royal Bank of Canada is going to help us reach every young person with cancer in the UK.”

"Right now, for every young person Teenage Cancer Trust is able to reach, there’s another we can’t. We need to provide many more Teenage Cancer Trust Nurses across the country to reach all young people with cancer, no matter where they live. To do this, we will need to raise £20 million a year every year by 2020. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone at Royal Bank of Canada for their commitment to join us in making sure no young person with cancer has to face it alone.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors- former patients’, beneficiaries’ and families’ stories

Cameron Stewart, former Great Ormond Street Hospital patient:
When he was 10 years-old, Cameron had a seven-hour operation to remove a brain tumour the size of an orange. Now 19 years-old, Cameron says he is “eternally grateful that the specialist neurological team at GOSH was there for me”.

Cameron and his family were first aware something was wrong when he began to be sick just in the mornings during a family holiday. When they returned from their holiday, a routine eye test the following day picked up pressure on his optic nerve and he was referred to the family’s local hospital for an MRI scan of his brain. Cameron said, “That’s when I first heard the words brain tumour.”

Cameron was referred to GOSH for specialist care under the hospital’s neurological team; he had a seven-hour operation where surgeons carefully removed most of the tumour, which went from the size of an orange to roughly the size of a golf ball.

After just five days, Cameron was allowed to go home. He still lives with the tumour inside his brain and now that he is 19, he has moved to adult services. He says, “The thing I remember most about my stay at GOSH is all the staff – in fact, they are the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. I really admire the doctors and nurses; they are the reason I’m still here today.”

Despite a scar on the left side of his head, self-proclaimed bad handwriting and no longer playing his beloved rugby, you wouldn’t know this aspiring actor was living with a brain tumour.

Since his operation, Cameron has helped to raise funds for the hospital by speaking at events to tell his story. He first stood up to speak at the age of 11, just a year after his surgery. He said of his time in hospital: “As for GOSH and all the amazing people who work there they hold a very special place in my heart.”

Families supported by Ronald McDonald House: 
Kim and Trevor Lilley -

The parents of Bryoni Miller, Kim and Trevor, stayed for a few weeks at Ronald McDonald House Camberwell while their new-born daughter was treated for swelling on the brain. Understandably keen to remain near their daughter, a room at the Ronald McDonald House saved them the expense and trouble of a round-trip from Southend – a scenario that the family describe as “unthinkable”. Happily, Bryoni, who is now home, has made remarkable progress, never failing to delight staff at the Ronald McDonald House when she pops in following occasional hospital stays. 

Hannah Wort -  
Hannah, who stayed at Ronald McDonald House Tooting, speaks of her heartbreak at having a seriously ill child, and the difference made by being able to stay near her sick child, in her own words:

“Staying at the Ronald McDonald House when our daughter was in hospital meant so much to us. Our daughter was extremely ill and we were told she would not survive. When she was at her worst, we were only a couple of minutes away so if we got a phone call, we could just run over. If we were at home, it would have taken us about two hours to get there. We could sleep better knowing we were close by. We could cook meals and had a space to relax. We were surrounded by other families in similar situations which turned into our biggest support network - we still speak to and meet up with our friends from the House. It really was our home away from home and I honestly do not know how we would have coped throughout our five months at St George's without it.”

Sam Exworth, 23, supported by Teenage Cancer Trust:
 “When I was diagnosed at age 16, I was treated on a children’s ward with babies and children. The ward was, to be honest, quite a depressing place for me to be. But by the time I relapsed and had to go back into hospital, the new Teenage Cancer Trust unit was being built, and I was in the privileged position of being able to witness the transition. The difference being on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit made to me was massive – a vibrant and age appropriate unit with modern rooms, an awesome chill out area for young people to spend time together and with family and friends. It’s hard to put into words the difference it makes being on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit, but trust me it’s huge.”

 

About Royal Bank of Canada: 
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is one of the largest banks in the world and is Canada’s largest bank by market capitalisation. It employs approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients in 38 countries.  
RBC has a long history in Europe and has operated in the region since 1910 to serve corporate, institutional and high-net worth clients. Today, it provides a wide array of financial products and services, which are delivered by over 5,300 employees from offices in the UK, the Channel Islands, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Spain. RBC delivers financial products and services in Europe under the global brands RBC Capital Markets, RBC Wealth Management, RBC Investor & Treasury Services, RBC Global Asset Management and BlueBay Asset Management. For more information, please visit http://www.rbc.com/.
RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. For more information please see: http://www.rbc.com/community-sustainability/.

About Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity: 
Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children’s healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. The hospital’s pioneering research and treatment gives hope to children from across the UK with the rarest, most complex and often life-threatening conditions. Our patients and families are central to everything we do – from the moment they come through the door and for as long as they need us.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity needs to raise money to support the hospital to give children who need help the most, the best chance for life. The charity funds research into pioneering new treatments for children, provides the most up to date medical equipment, funds support services for children and their families and supports the essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital. You can help us to provide world class care for our patients and families. For more information visit www.gosh.org

About Ronald McDonald House Charities: 
Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent charity that provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals across the UK. The charity enables seriously ill children to have their families close by when they are undergoing treatment and allows them to maintain a degree of normal family life. 

There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK and in 2015, they helped support over 7,000 families with children in hospital.  The charity was founded in 1989 and has been keeping families together for 27 years. For more information visit www.rmhc.org.uk

About Teenage Cancer Trust: 
Teenage Cancer Trust makes sure the seven young people aged 13 to 24 diagnosed with cancer every day don’t face it alone. The charity works in partnership with the NHS, providing expert staff and specialist units in Principal Treatment Centres for cancer, and bring young people together so they can support each other. 

Teenage Cancer Trust also gives presentations in schools so young people understand more about cancer and go to the doctors earlier. They also help medical professionals and politicians understand why young people with cancer need specific support. 

Almost half of young people with cancer in the UK are not treated in Teenage Cancer Trust units. Instead they are treated in hospitals where there isn’t the same level of expertise, and they might never meet another young person with cancer. This is a scary and lonely experience. This must change. So Teenage Cancer Trust are building a wider Nursing & Support Service within the NHS to help all young people, wherever they receive treatment. To make this happen, they need to raise more than £20 million every year by 2020.

Teenage Cancer Trust relies on donations to fund our vital work. If you’d like to take on a challenge for Teenage Cancer Trust and help support more young people with cancer, visit www.teenagecancertrust.org/challenges, email challenges@teenagecancertrust.org.

Teenage Cancer Trust is a registered charity: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757 (Scotland).