By Rebeca Riofrio - Parliamentary Society Press Office
In the landscape of philanthropy, where countless organizations strive to impact lives, Teens Unite emerges distinctly. Birthed from compassion and nurtured by the unyielding spirit of Debbie Pezzani and Karen Millen OBE, it is a narrative of hope, resilience, and unwavering support for youth battling cancer.
Teens Unite's journey commenced over a decade ago when Debbie and Karen, touched profoundly by the resilience of cancer-afflicted youth, pledged to bridge the gap in support post-treatment. The seedling of this pledge has blossomed into Teens Unite, an organization with the noble aim of aiding young souls to thrive amidst their battles with cancer.
The ethos of Teens Unite is crystallized in its vision: to welcome more of the 2,555 UK teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer annually into a family—a sanctuary where the long-term effects of cancer are both understood and mitigated. Their mission? To erect England's first retreat for young cancer fighters, dubbed The House of Teens Unite, a haven promising over 3,000 opportunities for these warriors to receive support annually by 2030.
At this retreat, solidarity and tranquility shall prevail, offering a nurturing space where emotional, social, and physical support foster healing and growth. It is an oasis where the joy of living can flourish, away from the isolating confines of hospital wards.
The inception of Teens Unite is heart-wrenching yet inspiring. During their voluntary service in hospital wards, Debbie and Karen encountered Chris, a young man shouldering the weight of his and his brother's cancer battles. Chris's poignant words following his brother's demise, "Not only have I lost my brother, but I have lost my cancer friend," ignited the foundational purpose of Teens Unite: to combat the isolation felt by young individuals amidst their cancer journeys.
This epiphany in 2007 sowed the seeds for a refuge where young individuals could reconvene with life. The subsequent formation of Teens Unite is a testament to the power of shared experiences and collective healing.
With the establishment of The House of Teens Unite, a dream is on the cusp of realization. This sanctuary aims to be a place where youthful spirits aged 13-24 can unite, engaging in activities, sharing stories, and finding solace in shared experiences.
Debbie Pezzani's depiction of the organization as her dream and passion is a narrative of commitment and love. Her dedication, mirrored by the philanthropic spirit of Karen Millen OBE, embodies the soul of Teens Unite.
Spearheading this noble cause is Roxanne Lawrance, the CEO, whose leadership fortifies the organization's aspirations and galvanizes its operational prowess.
Teens Unite's ambassadors, a diverse ensemble of influencers, athletes, and professionals, amplify its message. Andrea McLean, Leigh Francis, Dr. Alex George, and many others lend their voices and support, propelling the charity's mission into the limelight.
Teens Unite is not merely a charity; it is a beacon of hope, a testament to the conviction that even the smallest of entities can spawn waves of significant change. It is a clarion call to action—to support, to unite, to heal. Join Teens Unite in its noble quest, and partake in crafting a legacy of hope and rejuvenation for the young warriors of our time.
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