Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have been continuing work with their patronages during lockdown, most recently speaking with young people who are helped by the Teenage Cancer Trust. The princesses are honorary patrons of Teenage Cancer Trust and spoke to six young people on the challenges they face each day which have been magnified due to lockdown.
Lakita Neille, who is supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust spoke of the difficulty in waiting when it comes to cancer and how lockdown has exacerbated that feeling.
She said: “When you have cancer you are constantly waiting, waiting for diagnosis, waiting for treatment, waiting for results, waiting for it all to end so life can get back to normal.
“Then when it’s all over, to be told you have to shield for an amount of time and can’t see the people you love and want around you again, that’s another chunk of time when you can’t do the things you’ve been waiting to do, it’s really difficult.”
Princess Beatrice responded: “I feel, you know, that moment of reflection has been eye-opening, but so scary because it leaves you alone with your thoughts and then all manner of things can flood in.”
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Later in the call, Beatrice spoke of how she wished the talk could have taken place in person.
The young people spoke about the difference Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Co-ordinator Steve Harcourt has made to them by organising a wealth of online social events which bring them all together.
The events help to them keep them occupied and feel less isolated during lockdown, for example, online bingo and quizzes, and even a “lads night in”.
Speaking to Beatrice and Eugenie, Caitlin Wilde, who has finished treatment but has ongoing complications related to a previous stem cell transplant said: “Steve’s been putting on online bingo and all sorts and to begin with I thought, I don’t want to do it, I thought it would be a bit cringe! But taking part has been a lot of fun.”
Mrs Whiteson – who founded the Trust with her husband Dr Adrian Whiteson told The Telegraph in 2018: “During all these visits they both take their time, they don’t make anybody feel rushed or harried.
“They pay attention to the patients, the families and the nursing staff, which is very good for their morale as well of course.”
Later this month Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie will host the Teenage Cancer Trust Awards 2020.
This will be a virtual awards ceremony celebrating the incredible achievements of young people with cancer, and those who support them.
Beatrice said: “We’ve grown up with Teenage Cancer Trust, we’ve been part of this family our entire lives, and it was so amazing to speak with these young people and some of the incredible team who are supporting them through this crisis.
“They have been through so much already, and as we start to come out of lockdown, many young people will remain in very difficult situations, often separated from friends and family, at home or in hospital.
“We must not forget about them, and charities like Teenage Cancer Trust who are working so hard to help them cope.”
Kate Collins, Chief Executive, Teenage Cancer Trust said of the video call: “Their Royal Highnesses Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are heartfelt and remarkable supporters of Teenage Cancer Trust – and young people with cancer.
“Their wholehearted commitment to supporting the vital work of charity makes the world of difference, and we feel honoured and deeply grateful that they are very much part of the Teenage Cancer Trust family.
“I can’t thank the young people who shared their experiences enough.
“Sadly, for them and others, this isn’t their first experience of shielding and the isolation this can bring.
“Young people facing cancer often feel isolated from their friends and peers, who are moving on with their lives.
“Put a global pandemic on top of that, and it is essential that Teenage Cancer Trust is able to work even harder to make sure young people don’t face cancer alone.”