Up to 60% Off Diamond Jewellery | Shop Now

Young Lives vs Cancer

We’re proud to support Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK's leading charity for children and young people with cancer, and their families. Since joining forces back in October 2014, we’ve raised over £1.3million – and we’re not stopping there.

Young Lives vs Cancer helps children and young people find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them. It’s the only charity in the UK with specialist social workers dedicated to giving children and young people with cancer tailored support, help them understand what's happening, make decisions about treatment, cope with their anxieties and fears, and stay connected to school or work. So children and young people with cancer can still be themselves, feel in control of their lives and stay positive about their future. Help us continue to raise vital funds for an incredible charity that’s close to our hearts.

For more information on Young Lives vs Cancer visit www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk

Venus’ Story

Venus was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 10 years old after her parents noticed she was struggling with her eyesight.

“They tested her left eye and discovered that some of her vision had been lost but after testing the right eye, we discovered that a large percentage of her vision had been lost. The hospital team referred her for an emergency MRI in London at the Evelina Hospital.”

After the test, Venus’ parents were asked to go to Guy’s hospital, where they were told she had a tumour behind her eye and that she would need to start an 85-week course of chemotherapy treatment.

“Everything was very surreal, we didn’t know what was going on, we couldn’t really process it. Venus was asking ‘why do I have to go back to London? Why do I have to have an operation?’ it was hard for her to comprehend. Michelle and I both found ourselves asking … ‘How could this have happened? Were we at blame? How did we not pick it up earlier? Should we have pushed to get the eye seen?’ We started to blame ourselves, thinking it was something we had done, that we could have prevented this.”

Venus started chemo treatment, which had many side effects. “As Venus had become immunocompromised, it was safer to keep her indoors and away from mixing with others due to the high risk of infection. We contacted the school and all of her afterschool clubs and activities what was happening and that she wouldn’t be coming back to her clubs for a while.

“Venus had really beautiful hair. She had a really thick afro and we let her know that the medicine that she was having, over a period of time would start to make her hair start to get very thin and then more than likely it may fall out. After six/seven weeks nothing had happened. Her hair was as strong as before she had the treatment so we thought maybe her hair will remain. Michelle used to brush Venus’ hair every morning and one morning she could see the hair was starting to thin and come out. Every day more hair would come out and Venus would wake up and there would be lots of hair on her pillow. This was a very difficult thing for her as she absolutely loved her hair.”

As well as experiencing different side effects, going through treatment also meant Venus had to be away from school and her friends for a long time.

Throughout Venus’ treatment she and her family were supported by Abby, a Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker.

“Abby would touch base with us regularly and it was really good to be able to talk to her. She would meet us at The Marsden and we would be in constant contact via email and phone calls so it was good to have someone there at the end of the phone if you wanted to talk or drop something down in an email to her.

“At the time when we were introduced to Abby, she managed to give us direction and without that, we would have been confused as to where to turn and what was available to us. Abby helped us to arrange things that we didn’t know were available to us. Things that we then didn’t have to worry about organising which meant we could focus more on Venus and on ourselves, like the letter to our employees, it was another thing we didn’t have to worry about, putting pen to paper and thinking how we’re going to word this so we could put our full focus on Venus.”