Today marks World Cancer Day, a day that aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness of cancer. Charity plays a huge role at wilko and we’ve been proud supporters of Teenage Cancer Trust since 2018. The charity is part of our Together for Families programme alongside Alzheimer’s Society and Save the Children, and through the programme, we’re aiming to raise £5 million by 2021. We’re working together with Teenage Cancer Trust to provide specialised nursing and emotional support for young people aged 13 to 24 who are diagnosed with cancer.
Being told that you have cancer as a teenager is very different to being diagnosed as a child or older person. Suddenly your whole life changes and it can be very scary. Young people need to have someone to turn to for support through this very difficult time. They need someone who understands what they’re going through and can provide age-appropriate care.
Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity which meets this critical need. The charity funds 28 outstanding Teenage Cancer Trust Wards (units) in every major hospital (Principal Treatment Centres) across the UK and the charity fund specialist nursing staff who help to run them.
But right now, Teenage Cancer Trust estimates that their world-leading nursing can only help half of young people diagnosed with cancer. They need funding for an outreach nursing and support service for young people who are unable to access one of their wards. This service aims to reach young people who live too far away from a Teenage Cancer Trust ward, providing support in their local hospital or at home. We want to support the charity in reaching these hard working families across the UK.
“When I was diagnosed and started my treatment, I lost my hair and felt that I’d lost my identity a bit too, but I’m quite a positive person and started experimenting with wigs. I’d worn wigs for parties and festivals previously and it added a theatrical element to the outfits, but now I match my 1950s dresses with big 1950s hair. Other days I wear a dramatic blue wig, or a pink wig.
“I used to love my long hair. I’d kept it very natural and I would have been too scared to have dyed my hair those colours so it’s good that I can experiment now.
“Not everyone will be into dramatic wigs, but if you’ve lost your sense of identity during treatment it really helps to find something to focus on that makes you feel more ‘you’ again.”
At wilko, we work hard each year to raise vital funds for Teenage Cancer Trust, alongside our two other charities. To show your support for World Cancer Day, visit www.worldcancerday.org