Tanya was an extremely courageous young lady of 17, who bravely fought Adult Acute Myeloid Leukaemia for the last 20 months of her short life. Before being diagnosed and during remission Tanya lived life to the full, inspiring others with her courage and determination.
During her last precious months, Tanya expressed the wish to help others of her age group. Therefore, in accordance with this wish and in her memory, her family set up a registered charity in 2005: "The Tanya's Courage Trust".
The Trust's objective is to aid young people fighting Cancer, or affected by Cancer, throughout Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and Devon by the provision of grants which can be used towards relieving their physical or financial needs.
We endeavour to support teenagers and young people fighting Cancer and their families but hope that as the charity grows we can widen the personal criteria of beneficiaries.
We have helped many beneficiaries: improving the spirit, life and well being of all those attached to the Trust.
Our ultimate aim has always been to be involved in developing a Teenage and Young Adult Cancer unit in Cornwall, this is now happening in Cornwall and The Tanya's Courage Trust has equipped 2 rooms in the new Headland Unit and 1 room in Lowen Ward with all the latest entertainment equipment and much more.
How we have helped
Here are a few examples of how we have helped:
♦ A young lady diagnosed with a brain tumour needed to go to Bristol for 6 weeks for treatment Monday to Friday. This meant her mum driving her to Bristol on a Monday morning, driving back to Cornwall to look after the family, and driving back to Bristol on the Friday afternoon to bring her home for the weekend. Without having a reliable car to do this, the family were really worried about how she was going to get to Bristol for her treatment. Their CLIC Sargeant Social Worker contacted us asking if we could help, after exploring many other options we agreed to hire a car for the family to have for the 6 weeks of treatment. This was greatly appreciated by the family and made an extremely stressful time a little easier to cope with by removing the fear of not making it to the hospital for the required treatment.
♦ We went to visit a young man in Bristol who, whilst there was told he could return to hospital in Cornwall. He was so relieved to be getting back to his family, but then was told there was not an ambulance available to bring him back until a week later. We got in touch with a private ambulance company in Cornwall and paid for him to be taken back home to Cornwall that day. This young man was so happy to be near his family again during what turned out to be the last few weeks of his life.
♦ A young lady had been fighting cancer for so many years that she did not want to go on another long train journey to London for another hosptial appointment. We funded flights to London from Newquay, 2 nights in a hotel, an evening at the theatre, a trip on the London Eye and a shopping spree which turned her trip from a long day of travelling for a hospital appointment into a joyful 2 days with a friend, where they popped into the hospital for an appointment whilst there.
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Cancer
We may be able to help, here are a few examples of how we could help you:
♦ We offer financial assistance such as travel/accommodation costs whilst away from home for treatment.
♦ Perhaps there is something you or your family need to help you through these tough times?
♦ Is there something you would like to ease your boredom? The most popular thing we have requested by our beneficiaries is iPads, this will enable you to keep in touch with family and friends. As well as an iPad we are happy to supply a SIM card and pay the monthly contract so you can be in touch with family and friends no matter where you are. The SIM card can be paid for by Tanya's Courage as long as you are going through treatment or in remission until you are declared fit to work.
♦ We have 3 rooms at RCHT that we set up specifically for young people with cancer to use whilst going through threatment. We have 2 rooms on the Headland Unit for outpatients/day patients, and 1 room on Lowen Ward for inpatients.
♦ Perhaps there is something you've always wanted to do? A special day, a simple family trip, meeting someone special or visiting someone to care for.
What we can offer
At present we offer assistance to anyone aged 16-25 years. Ages and amounts granted are reviewed annually and individually. It is our hope as the charity grows we can offer larger amounts to more people.
In order to apply for a grant you need to:
♦ Be referred through the hospital
♦ Via your Cancer Support Nurse or Doctor
♦ Or through your Social Worker
If our funds are low we will have a waiting list and awards of grants will be dependant on a diagnosis and prognosis. However, a waiting list is something we do not want and hope will never happen. Our aim is alwways to have enough funds in reserve to be able to help anyone referred immediately.
How you can help us
We have several different ways in which you can help us. We have 5 shops, 2 located in St Austell (1 of which is a Furniture Shop), 1 located in Bodmin, 1 in Penry and 1 in Penzance (for full address and contact details for each Branch, please go to our 'Get In Touch' Page), we are always happy to welcome new volunteers to help in these shops. We also sell donated items online such as eBay and Facebook.
To help us raise funds we also hold regular events throughout the year, such as Music Festivals, Fundays, Store Collections, Quizzes, Purple Day, and much, much more.
The Big Purple Event: In April each year we ask people to join in with our Big Purple Event. All you need to do is choose one day in April where you decide to wear purple for the day and make a suggested donation of £1.00 to Tanya's Courage Trust.
Tanya keeping her head warm whilst having a nap in Hospital
Tanya keeping her head warm whilst having a nap in Hospital
Tanya in Hospital
Tanya spending time watching T.V in hospital with her Dad
Sophie, Tanya and Nigel at Tanya's end of Chemo celebration party
Tanya with her dad just after going into remission enjoying the freedom of being out of hospital.
Tanya and her Dad, Eddie enjoying a ride on the motorbike during her 7 months in Remission
Tanya in her favourite place, Par Beach Duck Pond
Tanya with her Dad on holiday in Spain while she was in remission
Tanya in Spain during her time in Remission
Tanya on Holiday in Spain whilst in Remission
Tanya whilst in Remission enjoying a cuddle from her cats
Tanya with one of her doctors Sophie Mepham, Sophie is now a Trustee and Patron of The Tanya's Courage Trust
Tanya and her sister Nikki at Jamie Oliver's Restuarant fifteen, which was her wish granted by The Willow Foundation just before her Bone Marrow Transplant.
The Billing Family
Sophie, Tanya and Jason