Royals visit UCLH patients 

09/12/2016 00:00 
Sarah, Duchess of York, and her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie visited the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at University College Hospital this morning and met young cancer patients and their families.

The three chatted with patients as they made Christmas decorations for the unit’s social space.

Elias Taylor, 20, talked to Princess Eugenie about university, nightlife and “the things young people my age do apart from spending time in hospital”.

Elias, who was diagnosed with leukaemia four years ago and his due to have a bone marrow transplant next week, said: “I am not the sort of person to get star struck but it is nice to meet a princess and have a bit of a chat.

“She was very easy to talk too – I didn’t feel like I was talking to royalty at all.  We had a very nice chat and I don’t think she wanted to get up and leave.”

Harry Sadler, 17, spoke to the Duchess of York and Princess Beatrice.

Harry, who is being treated for a rare form of brain cancer, said: “I told them that am a very strong believer in mind over matter and that if you stay focussed I believe you can achieve anything.

“I think they were very impressed by my mature view of things.”

The Duchess has been a patron of Teenage Cancer Trust since 1990, when she opened the charity’s first specialist cancer unit, and while her daughters have frequently supported her in her charity work for Teenage Cancer Trust, this year they have officially joined her as patrons of the charity.

UCLH chairman Richard Murley said: “UCLH is always very glad to host Sarah, Duchess of York, and her daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice. Their visits mean a lot to UCLH and they are always very welcome here.

“They, and Teenage Cancer Trust, have done so much for our patients, contributing to what is one of our flagship facilities, a ward dedicated to young patients with cancer.”

The Duchess said: said: “I’ve been a proud supporter of Teenage Cancer Trust for 26 years and have seen first-hand the significant difference these units, and the incredible staff, make to young people’s lives.

“Every young person with cancer should have access to this specialist support, and we have ambitious plans to achieve this. I’m very proud of Beatrice and Eugenie’s involvement at such a crucial and exciting time for the charity.”

The Teenage Cancer Trust this year funded a £300,000 refurbishment to the University College Hospital unit's social spaces which include a living room with comfortable seating, gaming equipment and jukebox, as well as a dining and craft table.

The 18-bed unit, which provides specialist care and support to cancer patients aged 13 to 19 years, opened in 2005.  It is the largest in the country and also provides a kitchen for patients, family and friends to cook together, and a small peaceful space called the sanctuary room which is for meetings and counselling.

During the visit, the Duchess and her daughters met clinical lead Vicky Grandage, Teenage Cancer Trust nurse consultant Louise Soanes and ward sister Tacy Clarke.

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