The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation is a charity that supports teenagers and young adults with cancer. The charity was founded in 2014 after Richard and Nikki’s son, Tom passed away from a rare and aggressive cancer aged 19 years.
The charity provides physical and emotional support to these young people, aged 13 – 25 years old, and their families based in the UK. It also funds research projects that focus mainly on cancers that are prevalent in teenagers. These cancers are often rare and particularly aggressive and have very little funding thrown at them.
How Does The Tom Bowdidge Cancer Foundation Help?
The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation has funded projects that have created age appropriate rooms for young cancer patients to receive their treatment. This may be on an in-patient or out-patient basis. It allows them to be young people first and cancer patients second. The rooms which allow much needed privacy, are equipped with smart TVs, gaming facilities, beds for relatives or friends to stay, mood lighting and modern décor. They are based in Essex and London but there are plans to extend further afield.
For many young people and their families, a cancer diagnosis brings an extra cost of around £600 a month. With many families losing a salary to enable them to care for their child, the need for financial help is extreme. 31% of grants they make are used to help with travel costs to and from hospital. Many of these young people are at important stages of their education and must take a break from their studies. Quite often they are in isolation because of infection and have lost their purpose in life. The Foundation provides grants that help alleviate loneliness and social isolation during this time. This may be through the provision of laptops and iPads which allow the young people to continue their studies and stay in contact with their friends. Sadly, for many with rare and aggressive cancers, the need for palliative care is great and the charity often provides grants for families to spend time together to make precious memories. This might be in the form of a few days away or a spa day with friends.
How The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation Works
The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation is an independent charity which is run by two part-time members of staff and volunteers. The team is there to help supporters whether they are directly fundraising or volunteering. The Foundation does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the generous support of businesses, schools, community groups, trusts and individual giving. Many supporters hold their own events and take part in challenge-based events raising vital funds as well as awareness of the charity. The Foundation hosts its own events; The Feather Ball; TBF Golf Day; Cheese and Wine tasting and a Christmas Fayre to name but a few. Every penny is gratefully received.
With your support you can help them to continue to make a difference to the lives of teenagers and young adults with cancer.
For more information visit www.tombowdidgefoundation.org