Sarah, Duchess of York has teamed up with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie to launch a charity Christmas appeal for the Teenage Cancer Trust, in the trio’s first joint visit since the princesses welcomed their first children earlier this year.
The sisters both gave birth in 2021, with Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi welcoming daughter Sienna Elizabeth on September 18, and Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank celebrating the arrival of son August on February 9.
They were joined by their mother, the ex-wife of the Duke of York, in central London to meet young cancer patients and family members supported by Teenage Cancer Trust’s specialist units.
Sarah, who has been an honorary patron of the charity since its launch in 1990, told Hello! magazine: “Without it – this charity funded entirely through donations – too many young people may have to face cancer alone.”
Beatrice, who is also an honorary patron, said: “Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year to be in hospital undergoing treatment.
“It’s a time for family, so long stays in hospital and being isolated from loved ones can feel even more painful.
“But the work of the Teenage Cancer Trust staff is vital as they do their utmost to make the experience the most enjoyable it can be.”
Praising the work of the charity’s nurses, she added: “They are just the kindest, most incredible people in the world.
“It’s so important for young people not to feel as if they are a number on a busy and hectic ward round. Teenage Cancer Trust nurses have smaller caseloads than normal nurses, so they can spend more time with individuals and families.
“They’re also all specially trained to understand the impact of a cancer diagnoses for this age group. They are at the patient’s side from the moment of diagnosis.”
The three women met four cancer patients who are currently accessing the services offered by Teenage Cancer Trust.
They sat socially distanced, having taken Covid tests, and removed their masks only for photographs and filming, as they heard the stories of young people including Abigail Jacobs, 13, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia after spending last Christmas in hospital with a chest infection.
Her mother Lara told the duchess: “She was showing symptoms around Christmas time, maybe just before that. We knew something was not quite right. It was quite scary and having to sort of hold it in and not show her how I felt. That was hard.”
Sarah replied: “What’s interesting is that these two new mothers here… they say ‘Mum, you know, it’s just a feeling.’ Mothers know. Follow your instinct – I always say that to you, don’t I?”
Eugenie, who is also an honorary patron, said: “It’s always difficult to process the pain and heartbreak of what the families we meet are going through, but we are also so inspired by their spirit and determination to see positives in what they have just come through.”
Appealing for donations to the charity, as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust’s Christmas appeal with Hello! magazine, Sarah said: “We all want a more normal Christmas this year. But young people with cancer are facing the toughest challenge of their lives – and they need our support.
“We urgently need your help to be there for every young person with cancer – not just this Christmas but into the future as well. Our work relies entirely on donations from the public, so we really can’t do it without you.”
Visit https://www.teenagecancertrust.org/hello-magazine-appeal to donate to the Hello! and Teenage Cancer Trust Christmas appeal.
– The full article is in Hello! magazine, out now.