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Children’s Cancer Unit Charity: Cancer doesn’t discriminate

15th February 2021

Local charity plea for support on Childhood Cancer Day 2021

Kids get cancer too, it’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate - that’s the simple message from the The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity as they join organisation across the globe to mark International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD), which aims to show support for children and adolescents with cancer, increasing numbers of survivors and their families.

The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact cancer has on families across Northern Ireland, with a reminder that the terrible disease does not discriminate when it comes to age.

Every year in Northern Ireland between 60 - 70 children and babies are diagnosed with cancer, with around 60 more teenagers and young people up to the age of 24 also diagnosed. The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity supports the work of the Haematology and Oncology Unit at the Royal, which is the only place in Northern Ireland where these children can receive specialist treatment for cancer and blood disorders. 

Launching the campaign the Charity’s Chairman, Felix Mooney said: "The minute the doctor tells a family that their child has cancer turns their lives upside down. Most people associate cancer with older people, so it is a huge shock when they learn of a child living with cancer, but with around 120 cases a year it is much more common than you might think.

"We are lucky to have such an incredible team at the Children’s Cancer Unit in Belfast, who provide world-class care for their young patients and families. We know these families are in the best possible hands.

"The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity is honoured to play a small part in providing support to them too, particularly during the most difficult of years. But our work is only possible thanks to the generosity of the public and our partners, who donate through fundraisers, challenges and other events all year. We are grateful to all who have continued to support the Charity over the last 12 months, and welcome any new supporters who wish to join our campaign.”

Susanne McCusker, mother of four year old Shay who was diagnosed with a serious condition when he was just seven weeks old, is backing the campaign. She added: "When we learned of Shay’s diagnosis, we were completely floored and didn’t know where to turn. Throughout his treatment it felt like we were in the unit more than we were in our own home, and while this is probably the most difficult thing we have ever had to face, it was the work of the staff, who made us feel comfortable and like family, that carried us through. We cannot speak more highly of the wonderful team of doctors, nurses and support staff at the Children’s Cancer Unit.

"Our ask this International Childhood Cancer Day is for anyone who can, to support the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity. The practical support they provide for both our medical teams and families at an unthinkable time is invaluable. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”

For more on the work of the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity, visit childrenscancerunit.com

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