Appeal kicks off for teenage cancer unit

PUBLISHED: 12:46 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 18:00 31 May 2010

Kate and Malcolm White Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

Kate and Malcolm White Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

A TARGET of £1 from every person in Saffron Walden is the aim of a new appeal to raise money for a teenage cancer treatment unit. Saffron Walden town clerk Malcolm White and his wife Kate - who lost their son to cancer three years ago - believe that if ev

A TARGET of £1 from every person in Saffron Walden is the aim of a new appeal to raise money for a teenage cancer treatment unit.

Saffron Walden town clerk Malcolm White and his wife Kate - who lost their son to cancer three years ago - believe that if everyone in the town gives this small amount it will make a huge difference.

With a population of 15,000 people, they hope to raise £15,000 to donate to the new Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

"It would make an amazing difference to young people who are suffering from the disease and really boost their morale," said Mr White.

The Whites' youngest son Tom was diagnosed with sarcoma (cancer of the connective tissue) when he was 22 and died when he was 23.

Mr White, who has been the town clerk for 32 years, said: "When my son was having chemotherapy he was in a ward with six other people who were all aged over 70 and this was very hard on his morale.

"He received very good treatment at Addenbrooke's, but a specialist TCT unit will really benefit

the treatment of young patients in the future."

A public meeting was due to be held in the Town Hall last night (Wednesday), after the Reporter went to print, where a committee was to be formed to organise the fund-raising efforts.

Although £15,000 is the target Mr White said they will try to raise as much money as possible.

Mr and Mrs White, of Victoria Gardens, Saffron Walden, hope the new facilities will help other young people in a similar situation to their son Tom, who was a student at Newport Free Grammar School and Southampton University.

Each day in the UK, six teenagers will find out they have cancer and be treated in inappropriate facilities alongside children or older people.

The £1.5 million, 10-bed TCT unit at Addenbrooke's will treat cancer patients from East Anglia and the surrounding area.

Other TCT units in the UK are boosting survival rates and it is hoped, through this new facility, that teenagers from East Anglia will be given the same chances of survival as others across the country.

Full details of how the money will be raised were due to be discussed at the meeting, but Mr White said any donations can be given to him at the town council office, 11 Emson Close, Saffron Walden.

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