Nicola Organ Foundation funds new room at Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Bristol
A CHARITABLE foundation set up in memory of a young Yate woman has raised enough money to fund a new room to help families of cancer patients.
Bristol University student Nicola Organ was just 23 years old when she lost her battle with cancer in 2011.
Following her untimely death, Nicola’s family set up the Nicola Organ Foundation with the aim of supporting families of young adults living with cancer.
They have now raised £10,000 which will pay for a social space in the new Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Bristol.
Nicola’s mum Beverley said: “Nicola lived in Bristol, but spent many weeks in hospital in London, in an adult ward. There was no family accommodation available, so we began fund raising to try and provide somewhere for a family member to stay if needed.
“We began investigating what help was currently available and were delighted to find that Teenage Cancer Trust are building a unit in Bristol which is specifically for young cancer patients aged 16 to 24.”
The £2.5million unit is due to open in early 2014 and is being built over two floors with one floor dedicated to in-patients featuring five en-suite rooms, a social area full of gaming and entertainment equipment, quiet room, TV room, kitchen and dining space. The other floor will be for day patients, featuring three treatment pods, two consulting rooms, a procedure room, social space, waiting area with cafe and staff office.
Added Beverley: “Going through cancer is horrible for anyone, particularly a young person, and the unit will make a huge difference.
“Apart from the expense of finding accommodation, I also hated leaving Nicola on her own at night, feeling frightened and needing my support. To have her own en-suite room, with an extra bed, so I could stay with her if needed, in a unit specifically designed for young people, would have made her time in hospital so much easier.”
So far the Teenage Cancer Trust has raised £1.75million towards the £2.5million build but still urgently needs to raise a further £750,000 by spring next year.
Beverley said the decision was taken to donate £10,000 towards the project following a tour of the unit by trustees of the Nicola Organ Foundation. The money has been raised at a variety of events held in the Yate and Chipping Sodbury area since 2011.
“It is wonderful for patients to have the space and privacy of their own room,” she said. “But it is also vital to have somewhere to hang out with other young people and have some fun and feelings of normality, so we are delighted to be able to help fund this area.
“The difference the Teenage Cancer Trust unit will make is beyond my wildest dreams of what we could ever have hoped to achieve on our own and I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has organised and attended our events and donated so generously.”