87% of young people lose contact with their peers as a result of their cancer treatment. It's Make A Friend Day, so we'd like to introduce you to James and Kerry. It has been a privilege to watch their friendship blossom throughout Teens Unite events, and we know that their friendship means the world to them. Watching their friendship grow has also meant a lot to Carol, Kerry's Mum. When Carol contacted us with some words about Kerry's friendship with James, she said: "Writing this and reflecting on the past two years has made us even more appreciative of how valuable your amazing charity has been for us all - thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this difficult journey so much more bearable." Here's her reflection on watching Kerry form lifelong friendships following his diagnosis with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2017:
"Kerry was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on the eve of his 20th Birthday in June 2017. Kerry was an inpatient at UCL hospital in London for much of the first ten months of his intensive chemotherapy treatment and had long periods when he was unable to meet up with his friends and enjoy social activities. Kerry was fortunate to be introduced to Chantelle and Sara from Teens Unite whilst he was on the ward. They brought fun activities and a welcome reprieve from the challenges of treatment.
When Kerry heard about the Teens Unite residential Activity Stay he was excited at the prospect of enjoying all the fun activities but was very anxious about meeting everyone and fitting in with the group. James was one of the first people Kerry met when he arrived and they clicked straight away and were soon chatting away like long lost friends. James was a constant source of support and encouragement for Kerry throughout the stay.
Since the Activity Stay they have remained in frequent contact over the phone and were happy to catch up again in person at the Teens Unite Christmas Ball. Kerry has found it reassuring to know that he has a friend who has been through a similar experience and thinks James is really cool and is an inspiration to him. Kerry is really grateful to Teens Unite for creating amazing fun opportunities and for creating friendships that will last a lifetime."
Click here to meet James and hear what he had to say about his friendship with Kerry.
Detailed below are our events for Teens, Volunteers, Fundraising and Challenges.
Volunteering with Teens Unite has changed my personality and outlook on life. When I hear all the amazing things the teens say about Teens Unite, I can tell they mean every word.
Teens Unite isn't just a charity to me, it was the beginning of restarting my life.
When Elliot started receiving the support of Teens Unite, I could see a change in him straightaway. His outlook on life was becoming positive again and I gained strength from seeing my little boy accepting what had happened and starting to move forward.
I needed help and that's where Teens Unite came in. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the reason I met Teens Unite was to save my life.
With Teens Unite, I finally realised that I could climb out of this massive hole that I had been digging because I wasn't alone anymore.
If it wasn't for Teens Unite, I wouldn't be where I am now. They have been really supportive and given me the strength to push myself and not give up.