There is never a good time to be told you have cancer. But to be given this diagnosis at a time in your most transitional years, the years when you may be figuring out your hopes and aspirations, or struggling with the emotions adolescence itself brings, seems particularly cruel.
Young people often fall victim to some of the most rare and aggressive forms of cancer, and their developing bodies can often work against them, enabling some cancers to grow fiercer and faster.
Teenage Cancer Trust Units are designed to feel like a home from home, bringing young people with cancer together where they can continue as much as possible to be teenagers, sharing a chat, watching the football or having a game of pool. It is vitally important for young people's health, emotional and psychological well being to be treated in a facility designed to meet their needs and in an environment where they have the opportunity to meet people their own age who they can relate to.
As with every charity, they rely entirely on the support of others. The costs of setting up the specialist units runs into many, many thousands of pounds, and your help is needed to continue to raise the funds essential to the continued success and development of the scheme.
Time for T is the trust's national campaign to raise funds and as a supporter of The Teenage Cancer Trust, thebestof Southend is asking you to get together on the 24th May with friends, family or work colleagues and take part. It's simple and it's all about the T!
At work, how about dressing to a T for the day - T shirts and Tiaras, Top hat and Ties, or just Trakkies and Trainers?
Perhaps you fancy being your favourite 'T' for the day - Tina Turner, Tinkerbell, Mr T, Tim Henman (well, it is nearly Wimbledon!)
Or why not get together with friends or a community group and host a T Party, bake and sell cakes (T cakes?) serve with a selection of exotic teas. And you can get Shaun Rankin's Great British Menu winning Treacle Tart recipe from the Teenage Cancer Trust website – see who can make it Terrific.
Want something a little less sedate? Why not have a cockTail party, with Tequila Sunrise, Long Island Iced T, Tom Collins... served with Twiglets!
Tee off and organise a Golf charity day, organise a Tombola, a Treasure Hunt, or a Tug of War.
The possibilities are endless and whether you arrange or simply support an event in Southend, you can be assured that all funds raised will go directly towards helping the thousands of young people whose lives have been blighted at the very time they should be preparing for their star to shine.
Although the Time for T initiative is scheduled for Thursday 24th May 2012, year round fund raising is needed to support the charity, so if you are planning any events and want to help keep in touch at www.teenagecancertrust.org. Here you can find out more about the life changing work the Trust is involved in, and get support and materials to promote your event.
And of course, let thebestof Southend know so we can add you to our Events pages.