Tuesday 25th February 2014

East Anglia

X-Factor TV presenter and Teenage Cancer Trust ambassador Caroline Flack joined current and former patients and donors at Addenbrooke's Hospital to cut the birthday cake and kick off our superhero themed party!

Since the £3.6million unit on Ward C9 opened in February 2012, over 130 young people aged 14 to 24 from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, have received treatment.

The 11 bed unit has not only supported young people through gruelling treatment but has also seen a wedding on the ward and enabled patients to keep up with their studies by taking their GCSE, AS and A2 exams.

Dr Helen Hatcher, teenage and young adult consultant oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, said about today’s milestone:

For me it has been a privilege to be part of the transformation that the Ward C9 Teenage Cancer Trust unit has made to the care of young people and their families. Not only has the atmosphere on the ward itself and its decoration meant that patients feel more relaxed and able to cope with their treatments better but also that it acts as a focal point for those who choose to work with young people to excel in patient care. The difference in having a whole ward where the staff have chosen to work with and have been specifically trained in the needs of young people has made a dramatic difference to the experience of patients and families who have been cared for on the ward. The second anniversary also makes me remember the very many young people and their families who contributed their time, effort and energy over many years to raise the money to help the ward become a reality.

Caroline spent time chatting with young cancer patients, as well as cutting the birthday cake and officially starting their superhero themed party. Shesaid:

It’s just one of those charities that are brilliant in every way. The support you get here is one of the things that strikes me most. It could be quite a lonely place to be otherwise. What shines here is that everyone understands and makes it feel like its normal. This is my first visit to Addenbrooke’s but I went to university in Cambridge so it’s nice to be back and even better to see the work going on here.