Internationally renowned mind reader, illusionist, and mentalist David Meade teamed up with local charity Friends of the Cancer Centre to host a very special night of mind-boggling entertainment for teenagers and young adults impacted by cancer.
David worked closely with Laurena Kane, Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Social Worker for Teenagers and Young Adults, to put on a virtual evening of fun for young people and their families who have recently gone through, or are currently undergoing, cancer treatment. Laurena, who works to support each young person from diagnosis through to post-treatment, organised the event as an opportunity for young people to get together and take part in something a little different. The last year in particular has been extremely challenging for young patients, with many unable to socialise as normal with family and friends. The evening provided a safe meet-up space where young people could come together for a little fun and distraction.
Talking about what he had in store on the night, David said:
“I was absolutely delighted to be asked to host a night for these wonderful young people, who were all great sports and really keen to be involved. I wanted to make sure the evening was fun and provided a little bit of escapism.
“Over the last year I’ve seen how important it is for people to come together, albeit virtually, and I think that’s even more true for young people. To be part of an event that gave them an opportunity to come together with other young people and have a bit of a laugh was an absolute pleasure and I’d like to thank them for letting me be part of it.”
Feedback from the young people who took part has been fantastic and here is what some of them had to say:
“I loved that event! It really made our day and we can’t wait for the next one.”
“Thank you for inviting us. We really enjoyed it and it brought a smile to both of our faces and we had a good laugh together.”
“Thank you so much for arranging this evening! It was amazing! I was looking forward to tonight! Mum and I have wanted to go to one of his shows but we’d never got the chance to! I have no idea how he does it!! It’s incredible… really thought I’d caught him out!”
“It was a lovely night and I really enjoyed it! Those pesky dogs always steal the attention on Zoom things! Looking forward to the next one!
Every year in Northern Ireland there are over 70 teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer, with many attending the Cancer Centre in Belfast for treatment. To support these young people and their wider family circle, Friends of the Cancer Centre proudly funds vital staff dedicated to young people aged 16-24 years old. In addition to funding two specialist nurses, the charity also supports Laurena’s vital work which ensures that young patients have access to specialised care and emotional support throughout their diagnosis, treatment, and beyond.
Commenting on the benefit of social support for young people with cancer, Laurena said:
“A cancer diagnosis and treatment can be a daunting experience for anyone, never mind for a young person. I work to ensure that a unique range of individual support is provided to each young person when we meet them. A vital part of my role is supporting the mental health of young people and we have found that activities where we can bring other young people together in a fun and engaging way, can be really beneficial.
“I would like to say a really big thank you to David for hosting such a wonderful night and the feedback from the young people has been fantastic. We are hoping to organise more virtual social nights in the coming months, where we can continue to support young people when they need it most.”
If you would like to support the work of the charity and vital staff like Laurena, there are lots of ways you can get involved including taking part in one of our upcoming events such as the Newry Canal Cycle or our Slieve Donard Challange. Find out more on our events page here.