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FIGHT CLUB

Spring 2024

“Your support is incredible”

Mum Shaima shares how your support kept her family going through six years of daughter Tia’s cancer treatment.

“Tia had always been a healthy child. So when we had to explain to our four-year-old that she had cancer, the magnitude didn’t quite hit until later.

“Things were tough, especially with our finances, but your incredible support meant we had our Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker Sophie by our side. From the moment we met Sophie, we felt a sense of comfort and reassurance.

“She helped us navigate the often overwhelming hospital environment, showed us what help was available and was simply a friend when we needed one the most. She’s not just a professional; she’s been a friend, guide and support system for us during some of our toughest times.

“Tia finished her treatment, but she ended up relapsing twice. She’s 11 now so it’s been a good six years of living in this chaos. Tia does normal things that other kids do – she loves skateboarding, playing with Lego, and together we’ve started a podcast called Me and Mini Me.

“Thanks to your unwavering support, she’s steadily progressing on the path to recovery. She went back to school in September and is dedicated to raising awareness of childhood cancer.”

“Your support is incredible”

Mum Shaima shares how your support kept her family going through six years of daughter Tia’s cancer treatment.

“Tia had always been a healthy child. So when we had to explain to our four-year-old that she had cancer, the magnitude didn’t quite hit until later.

“Things were tough, especially with our finances, but your incredible support meant we had our Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker Sophie by our side. From the moment we met Sophie, we felt a sense of comfort and reassurance.

“She helped us navigate the often overwhelming hospital environment, showed us what help was available and was simply a friend when we needed one the most. She’s not just a professional; she’s been a friend, guide and support system for us during some of our toughest times.

“Tia finished her treatment, but she ended up relapsing twice. She’s 11 now so it’s been a good six years of living in this chaos. Tia does normal things that other kids do – she loves skateboarding, playing with Lego, and together we’ve started a podcast called Me and Mini Me.

“Thanks to your unwavering support, she’s steadily progressing on the path to recovery. She went back to school in September and is dedicated to raising awareness of childhood cancer.”

Donate today

With your support, we can be there for all families, no matter what cancer throws at them. Please donate today to help families find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them. We’ll face it all, together – but we can’t do it without you. ​​​​​​

Give £100Give £50Give £30

Thank you to our micro-volunteers!

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, 222 of you chose to micro-volunteer, leading to a massive 965 donated hours of volunteering. Thank you!

You raised more than £14,000 through bucket collections, helped write Christmas cards, carried out gardening at our Homes from Home and a whole range of other important tasks.

This had a huge impact on our ability to spread awareness and raise funds, in turn helping us to
support more children and young people with cancer.

This had a huge impact on our ability to spread awareness and raise funds, in turn helping us to support more children and young people with cancer.

Thank you to our micro-volunteers!

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, 222 of you chose to micro-volunteer, leading to a massive 965 donated hours of volunteering. Thank you!

You raised more than £14,000 through bucket collections, helped write Christmas cards, carried out gardening at our Homes from Home and a whole range of other important tasks.

This had a huge impact on our ability to spread awareness and raise funds, in turn helping us to
support more children and young people with cancer.

This had a huge impact on our ability to spread awareness and raise funds, in turn helping us to support more children and young people with cancer.

Be a micro-volunteer

From event cheerers to fundraising researchers, from bucket collectors to grant writers and video editors, many of you have given your time and specialist skills to help us.

Could you cheer on a London Marathon runner or help us uncover fundraising opportunities in your area? There are a whole range of things you could do to micro-volunteer – join us now.

Be a micro-volunteer

From event cheerers to fundraising researchers, from bucket collectors to grant writers and video editors, many of you have given your time and specialist skills to help us.

Could you cheer on a London Marathon runner or help us uncover fundraising opportunities in your area? There are a whole range of things you could do to micro-volunteer – join us now.

Raising their voices

Children and young people are central to #RunningOnEmpty, our campaign for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund. A fund would help children and young people, and their families, with the high travel costs they face to get to cancer treatment.

Stacey and Vic share why they got involved. Stacey’s daughter Kayla was diagnosed with cancer aged three and Vic had to travel from the Isle of Wight to Southampton for cancer treatment when she was diagnosed aged 21.

Why did you want to share your story for our #RunningOnEmpty campaign?
Stacey (S) – It’s important that people in government see how difficult it is when your child has cancer. Life is hard as it is, but when you add cancer it becomes so much harder.
Vic (V) – I hoped my story was unique, but when I discovered it wasn’t I felt that sharing my story might do some good.

What has it meant to you to be involved in the campaign?
V – It has meant a lot. I’ve done things and met people I never would have come across if I hadn’t. Handing the petition over to Downing Street was an opportunity I will never forget.

What difference would a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund make to you?
S – It would make so much difference. Travelling back and forth to the hospital for treatment is so expensive. It would take pressure off so we could focus more on Kayla’s treatment and not how we’ll get there.

Why do you think Young Lives vs Cancer should campaign on issues important to children and young people with cancer?
S – Young Lives vs Cancer knows the impact cancer has on a child or young person because its social workers are constantly in contact with families to find out what they need. Families are going through enough and don’t have time to keep fighting
the system. It’s important Young Lives vs Cancer raises our voices to change things for everyone.
V – It’s important that we feel represented and can share our experiences. Every cancer journey is so unique and young people should absolutely use their voices to make change for future generations.

Raising their voices

Children and young people are central to #RunningOnEmpty, our campaign for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund. A fund would help children and young people, and their families, with the high travel costs they face to get to cancer treatment.

Stacey and Vic share why they got involved. Stacey’s daughter Kayla was diagnosed with cancer aged three and Vic had to travel from the Isle of Wight to Southampton for cancer treatment when she was diagnosed aged 21.

Why did you want to share your story for our #RunningOnEmpty campaign?
Stacey (S) – It’s important that people in government see how difficult it is when your child has cancer. Life is hard as it is, but when you add cancer it becomes so much harder.
Vic (V) – I hoped my story was unique, but when I discovered it wasn’t I felt that sharing my story might do some good.

What has it meant to you to be involved in the campaign?
V – It has meant a lot. I’ve done things and met people I never would have come across if I hadn’t. Handing the petition over to Downing Street was an opportunity I will never forget.

What difference would a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund make to you?
S – It would make so much difference. Travelling back and forth to the hospital for treatment is so expensive. It would take pressure off so we could focus more on Kayla’s treatment and not how we’ll get there.

Why do you think Young Lives vs Cancer should campaign on issues important to children and young people with cancer?
S – Young Lives vs Cancer knows the impact cancer has on a child or young person because its social workers are constantly in contact with families to find out what they need. Families are going through enough and don’t have time to keep fighting
the system. It’s important Young Lives vs Cancer raises our voices to change things for everyone.
V – It’s important that we feel represented and can share our experiences. Every cancer journey is so unique and young people should absolutely use their voices to make change for future generations.

How you made change happen

12,250 of you signed our #RunningOnEmpty petition

1,200 emails were sent by you to 500 representatives in parliaments across the UK, resulting in over 30 meetings asking for change

Thanks to you, we were able to take our petition to Downing Street and ask UK Government for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund – watch this space.

If you haven’t already, please sign our petition for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund.

How you made change happen

12,250 of you signed our #RunningOnEmpty petition

1,200 emails were sent by you to 500 representatives in parliaments across the UK, resulting in over 30 meetings asking for change

Thanks to you, we were able to take our petition to Downing Street and ask UK Government for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund – watch this space.

If you haven’t already, please sign our petition for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund.

Making sure families have a safe place to call home

“My name’s Rebecca and I’m a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker.

“More and more I’m supporting families with children undergoing cancer treatment who are living in poor quality housing, with issues such as severe mould and overcrowding.

“For children with cancer who are undergoing treatment like chemotherapy, this increases the risk of infection and other impacts on their health. Our homes should be our sanctuary but for many of these families, home is a stressful place that makes their child’s health worse.

Rebecca, a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker

“In my role, I support families by writing supporting letters for housing and compiling medical letters. I then spend a lot of time chasing local authority housing caseworkers for progress.

“As their social worker, I’m there to provide families with the information they need and liaise for them, helping to reduce the stress and burden at what is already an incredibly stressful time. I see the desperate housing difficulties faced by these families on top of the stress of having a child going through cancer treatment.

“Whilst the housing system is so overstretched, the families of children I support – even with their significant medical needs – find it hard to access good quality housing.

“It motivates me to take all the action I can, and keep emailing and complaining countless times, because as a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker I can have leverage that helps.

“Thanks to your incredible support I can make sure children and young people with cancer, and their families, have a safe and comfortable place to call home.”

Rebecca
Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker

Young Lives vs Cancer will keep campaigning for change, to make sure children and young people with cancer have the safe, warm housing they need.

Making sure families have a safe place to call home

“My name’s Rebecca and I’m a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker.

“More and more I’m supporting families with children undergoing cancer treatment who are living in poor quality housing, with issues such as severe mould and overcrowding.

“For children with cancer who are undergoing treatment like chemotherapy, this increases the risk of infection and other impacts on their health. Our homes should be our sanctuary but for many of these families, home is a stressful place that makes their child’s health worse.

Rebecca, a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker

“In my role, I support families by writing supporting letters for housing and compiling medical letters. I then spend a lot of time chasing local authority housing caseworkers for progress.

“As their social worker, I’m there to provide families with the information they need and liaise for them, helping to reduce the stress and burden at what is already an incredibly stressful time. I see the desperate housing difficulties faced by these families on top of the stress of having a child going through cancer treatment.

“Whilst the housing system is so overstretched, the families of children I support – even with their significant medical needs – find it hard to access good quality housing.

“It motivates me to take all the action I can, and keep emailing and complaining countless times, because as a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker I can have leverage that helps.

“Thanks to your incredible support I can make sure children and young people with cancer, and their families, have a safe and comfortable place to call home.”

Rebecca
Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker

Young Lives vs Cancer will keep campaigning for change, to make sure children and young people with cancer have the safe, warm housing they need.

Celebrating the power of friendship

We’re celebrating nine-year-old Harry and his best friends from school, who together have raised over £41,000 (and counting) for children and young people with cancer.

Harry was diagnosed with bone cancer last year and has been receiving treatment, with support from Young Lives vs Cancer ever since.

When Harry received his diagnosis, his classmates realised he would lose his hair as a side effect of chemotherapy. They didn’t want their friend to feel alone so, as a mark of solidarity, they decided to come together to shave their heads with him.

The group, along with Harry’s dad, appeared on ITV’s This Morning and spoke to presenters Rochelle Humes and Craig Doyle about their incredible fundraising.  They’ve already arranged other events to raise even more money for young cancer patients.

Harry’s dad, Andy said, “What these boys have done is such a great gesture, it’s a clear message that they are going to be right by Harry’s side throughout his treatment. The amount of money raised so far is incredible.

“You don’t realise the full impact cancer has on a family until it happens to you, it’s a complete upheaval. Young Lives vs Cancer has offered support at every level.

“Our social worker has helped us access benefits, given financial support, and helped us understand Harry’s treatment and everything that comes with a cancer diagnosis.”

What an amazing example of bravery, kindness and the power of friendship. Well done Harry and friends!

Celebrating the power of friendship

We’re celebrating nine-year-old Harry and his best friends from school, who together have raised over £41,000 (and counting) for children and young people with cancer.

Harry was diagnosed with bone cancer last year and has been receiving treatment, with support from Young Lives vs Cancer ever since.

When Harry received his diagnosis, his classmates realised he would lose his hair as a side effect of chemotherapy. They didn’t want their friend to feel alone so, as a mark of solidarity, they decided to come together to shave their heads with him.

The group, along with Harry’s dad, appeared on ITV’s This Morning and spoke to presenters Rochelle Humes and Craig Doyle about their incredible fundraising.  They’ve already arranged other events to raise even more money for young cancer patients.

Harry’s dad, Andy said, “What these boys have done is such a great gesture, it’s a clear message that they are going to be right by Harry’s side throughout his treatment. The amount of money raised so far is incredible.

“You don’t realise the full impact cancer has on a family until it happens to you, it’s a complete upheaval. Young Lives vs Cancer has offered support at every level.

“Our social worker has helped us access benefits, given financial support, and helped us understand Harry’s treatment and everything that comes with a cancer diagnosis.”

What an amazing example of bravery, kindness and the power of friendship. Well done Harry and friends!

Donate today

With your support, we can be there for all families, no matter what cancer throws at them. Please donate today to help families find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them. We’ll face it all, together – but we can’t do it without you. ​​​​​​

Give £100Give £50Give £30

You brought magic to Will

Written by Sophie, a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker

I’m sure you remember Will’s story from our recent Winter Appeal. When he was just two days old, doctors found lesions on his lungs and bowel.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, I was able to be there for him and his family.
This Christmas, Will was able to enjoy the magic of the season with his big brother Percy, and his family by his side.

They enjoyed trips to see Santa and watched all their favourite Christmas films together at home.

It was a world away from what they went through two years ago. On behalf of everyone at Young Lives vs Cancer, thank you for your generosity and for being there for children like Will when they really need you.

You brought magic to Will

Written by Sophie, a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker

I’m sure you remember Will’s story from our recent Winter Appeal. When he was just two days old, doctors found lesions on his lungs and bowel.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, I was able to be there for him and his family.
This Christmas, Will was able to enjoy the magic of the season with his big brother Percy, and his family by his side.

They enjoyed trips to see Santa and watched all their favourite Christmas films together at home.

It was a world away from what they went through two years ago. On behalf of everyone at Young Lives vs Cancer, thank you for your generosity and for being there for children like Will when they really need you.

Please donate today to help us be there for for more families like Tia’s, Harry’s and Will’s. If you have any questions about Fight Club, or would like to donate by phone, please call our Supporter Engagement team on 0300 330 0803 from Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm or email supporter.services@younglivesvscancer.org.uk.