T15 Play Fund
Being in hospital can be very daunting for young cancer patients, especially if they are in a foreign country where the language, culture and lifestyle is unfamiliar. That’s why we have set up a discretionary fund within the UCLH Charity to help international and private patients admitted to the dedicated cancer service at Harley Street at University College Hospital. The T15 Play Fund, named after the department’s inpatient ward, provides teenagers and young adults up the age of 25, with recreational and therapeutic interventions.
Being able to provide these young patients with regular social events and activities can speed them on the road to recovery, reduce their feelings of isolation and help them to make new friends.
Your donation could help us to provide a wide range of activities for teenagers and young people with cancer. These include:
- Organising regular social events on the ward, like pizza and movie nights.
- Buying recreational and play items, such as games consoles, DVDs and arts and crafts equipment.
- Providing trips and days out to the cinema, museums, football matches and concerts.
- Holding parties for patients and their families, to celebrate special events and when people complete their treatment.
- Buying gifts for patients on special occasions like Eid, Christmas, birthdays etc.
The fund also helps us to pay for specialist cancer care training and professional development for our staff.
“Hello! My name is Abdullah and I am 22 years old. I came to London after being diagnosed with cancer in my leg whilst I was at home in Saudi Arabia. I came to London hoping that I could get better but they told me in Saudi Arabia that I would have to have my leg amputated. I thought that in London they could save my leg but my cancer was too bad and I had to lose it for me to get better. I was very scared at first and couldn’t even imagine what life would be like without a leg. When I came to the T15 ward, I met Haroon the activity co-ordinator and he spent a lot of time playing games with me; it really helped me relax. We didn’t speak the same language but we still managed to have lots of fun. This meant a lot to me because I was very lonely.
My tumour in my leg was so bad that I could not walk and needed help to move around. Haroon took me to the Regent’s Park Mosque and to the park in a wheelchair. I hadn’t prayed in a mosque for almost a year, so this was very special for me.
I wasn’t on the ward long before I had to go to Stanmore to have the operation on my leg. Haroon let me take the Playstation with me to play there and came to visit me with Abed, the international manager. This made me very happy as I felt very much alone.
The team at T15 helped me a lot. When I got back to the ward I just wanted to get better and get my new leg, and they all really supported me. I had to spend quite a few months in hospital but didn’t have anything to do, but thanks to the activity co-ordinator I was able to stay well occupied. Haroon took me to Wembley, Chelsea and Arsenal to watch football matches. I went on the London Eye and a boat cruise. He also got me tickets to go to Abdullah at ChelseaThorpe Park with my brother and family, and we all had such an great time. I like football a lot and even though I can’t play anymore I still support Chelsea. I was given a signed card and letter from the Chelsea football team, wishing me well, which was amazing. I was also given a new Chelsea shirt as an Eid present whilst I was on the ward and this made me so happy. Without the help from Haroon and the rest of the team I don’t know how I would have managed.
Now I am back home in Saudi Arabia and I remember London, not as the place where I lost my leg, but the place where I had so much fun and made many friends.
Thank you so much to everyone at T15 who helped me.”
“My name is Alhussain, I am 19-years-of-age and I come from Libya. I spent six months on the T15 ward at UCLH and it was a hard time for me and my family. The doctors and nurses helped me so much during that time.
Haroon Mota the Activity Coordinator was my best friend in the hospital and he helped me so so much to overcome the hard times. We were playing Playstation together in the lounge, watching movies and he arranged for me and the other boys to go on lots of trips to gardens and London landmarks like Madame Tussauds and the British Museum. In addition he took us to watch live football matches in London.
Now I am very happy because I have returned to Libya and I am back at school. Next June I will have my final exam to complete secondary school and I hope to go to University next year.”
“My name is Abdulrahim Yassen, but everyone calls me Aboody. I was a patient on T15. I had a pretty tough time during my treatment. I was really devastated at first, but when I met Haroon, the Senior Activity Coordinator, we started playing games and doing activities together and he just threw that devastation away. He will forever be like a brother to me.
Haroon introduced me to T12 where most of the patients are my age and I made lots of friends there. Haroon used to surprise me with beautiful celebrities. Also when I needed something he would try his best to get it for me. Sometimes I would feel lonely because Haroon finishes work and leaves the hospital at 5pm, so I have nobody to play with. But he introduced me to another patient called Meshal. I would see him everyday and play Playstation 3 all day long, even past midnight. It was great. Then he introduced me to another patient called Ibrahim and we were like the Three Arab Musketeers. We ate lunch together. Even when Meshal was in hospital and me and Ibrahim were at home, we would go to visit him in hospital and have lunch together.
The doctors and nurses took care of me so much and that was very, very nice of them. Guess what, the Prince of Saudi came and visited me and that was very, very, very cool of him. He only visited me, no-one else. That was a great moment. So T15 was a long adventure for me and finally I finished treatment and now I am home.”
“My name is Costantinos Christofides, I am 16-years-old and I am from Cyprus. I was a patient on T15 at UCLH. I had a bone-marrow transplant and the UCLH hospital was the best place for my treatment.
My treatment was very tough and difficult. At the beginning of the treatment I had some side effects from the chemotherapy, but I passed them with the help of the doctors and the nurses. I felt confident because I was sure that I was at the best hospital. All the doctors and the nurses were fantastic and they helped me so much when I was having a hard time.
I am very lucky I met Haroon Mota, the Senior Activity Coordinator, in the young people’s unit. A great man and a good friend, who helped me a lot during my hard times. We were playing Playstation together in the young people’s unit lounge everyday, but it wasn't interesting because I was always beating him. I was the champion!
I was at the hospital for six months in London, a long way away from home. But now I am back, having completed my treatment, and I am getting stronger every day. I’m studying now for my school exams and in the future I want to be an accountant.
I will always remember my adventure on T15 at UCLH. I pray to God everyday because now I am healthy and I am back at my house, starting a new life with bad and good memories that made me stronger!”
“I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is when your lymphocytes go crazy and start multiplying like there’s no tomorrow. I had just turned 16 when I was diagnosed, but I had been carrying the disease for several months before that. I come from Cyprus, but live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). My parents didn’t really trust the doctors in our country, so they decided I should come to England for treatment. I don’t blame them. It’s just about impossible to find good medical care in the UAE. So my dad and I moved here for six months and my mother stayed in the UAE to look after my brothers.
The biggest disadvantage of moving to England was that I missed a lot of school and I had to catch up on a lot of stuff when I got back. Also, I was supposed to be taking some exams, but since I was starting treatment here, I didn’t have to do them. And I still got good grades. Anyway, I am go glad I came to UCLH for treatment, because it’s the most awesome place to be if you have cancer. Having cancer is not awesome, but if you do have it, this is the place for you.
The people I met here are like my family. They took such good care of me and they made me feel at home. It was always great to have a laugh with the nurses and all the other staff and, of course, Haroon the activity coordinator always gave me something to do, like watch movies or chill with the other patients. Also, he would get me invited to all these activities, like boat rides or beauty workshops. I would never run out of things to do.
I also had one of the best medical teams in the world. Literally. I’m not just saying that. So to all the staff and medical team that took care of me, you are awesome and I love you guys.
Because I was here during the summer holidays, I was visited by a lot of my friends and family. I was almost always well enough to go out and have fun. I finished my treatment and came back home just in time for Christmas. I really enjoyed the holidays with my family.
I just want to say that if you’re a patient here at UCLH, you have the best medical team there is and you’re in safe hands. You’re going to have a life-changing experience. I know that having cancer isn’t a good thing, but personally, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
|This awesome wig helped me stay positive throughout my treatment, because I had some pretty unpleasant side effects, and also helped me cheer up other patients in the hospital, although I don’t think that worked. They probably just thought I was crazy.|
To support this work, you can donate online via the JustGiving website. You can also donate by texting "PLAY97 (£)" to 70070 and the amount you donate will be deducted from your phone bill.