Teenager set to take the plunge for charity

Phoebe Hedley

Phoebe Hedley

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A young cancer survivor will take a huge leap for other teenagers.

Phoebe Headley, 17, will take part in a 100ft abseil challenge to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The big-hearted Cleadon girl was treated on the trust's unit at the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle.

After years of feeling unwell, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic condition called familial adenomatous polyposis at the age of 13, and had to have a major operation to remove and reconstruct her large intestine.

A check-up two years later revealed a golf ball-sized lump in the scar tissue from the operation – a very rare kind of cancerous tumour called desmoid fibromatosis.

Phoebe underwent a year of gruelling chemotherapy at the hospital and since then has been committed to raising money for the unit.

Now, she has signed up to be one of the first people ever to abseil off the roof of the hospital, part of the Royal Victoria Infirmary, on Sunday, May 8.

She said: "When I was first diagnosed, it was so isolating. I felt really alone and I just sat at home for a few days. But Teenage Cancer Trust showed me I was never alone and there were so many people supporting me.

"I met so many new people and it was a huge part of my life. Just because you have cancer, that doesn't mean you are going to stop being a young person. You aren't going to suddenly stop being you. That's why the charity is so important.

"So far I have raised more than £4,300 for Teenage Cancer Trust, but what really matters to me is spreading the word and raising awareness. I want young people with cancer to know that they don't have to be scared and that there is a support network for them and that they don't have to face it alone.”

Louise Miles, Fundraising Manager for Teenage Cancer Trust in the North East and Cumbria, said: “The abseil will be a challenging but exciting event and we are thrilled that Phoebe has decided to take part.

"We know that we can only achieve our goal of reaching every young person with cancer with the help of supporters like Pheobe. There are still some places left and potential adrenalin seekers can sign up via our website should they feel like taking on a challenge whilst supporting local young people with cancer.”

Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for the seven young people aged between 13 and 24 diagnosed with cancer every day.

Visit www.teenagecancertrust.org/newcastleabseil for more information about the abseil and to sponsor Phoebe, visit https://www.justgiving.com/Phoebe-HedleyNJS.