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Staff at University College London Hospitals recently had the privilege of meeting Barbara Fountain, founder of the global peer-to-peer support group, Young Tongues. Barbara gave a presentation on her experience of having tongue cancer and how this led to her setting up the support group.
Barbara is an event concept designer based in Norwich, who was unexpectedly diagnosed with tongue cancer at the age of 32. She underwent a partial glossectomy with neck dissection and radial forearm flap in early 2019.
After her diagnosis, Barbara got support and help from charity organisations such as the Big C, Macmillan Cancer Support and Shine Cancer Support. However, when Barbara tried to connect with other young people who had tongue cancer, she quickly realised how underrepresented and underserved her community was. So, in early 2021, she founded Young Tongues.
Through Young Tongues, Barbara has built a community which allows its members to share their own personal experiences of being diagnosed, going through treatment, living with and surviving tongue cancer. The group also provides reassurance that young people with tongue cancer are not alone and there is always someone there to speak to.
03 November 2023