Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie teamed up for their first joint Zoom call as they highlighted the huge challenges faced by young people with cancer, particularly issues they've faced during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen's granddaughters, whom are honorary patrons of Teenage Cancer Trust, spoke with six young people from across the North West who are helped by the charity's specialist nurses and youth support co-ordinators based at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.
READ: Princess Beatrice and Sarah Ferguson reunite amid lockdown for special reason
WATCH: Beatrice and Eugenie speak with young cancer patients in first joint Zoom call
Joining the video call from their respective homes, Princess Beatrice, 31, and Princess Eugenie, 30, heard directly from the young people how advice on shielding, necessary appointment delays and loved ones not being able to visit them in hospital, due to the pandemic, has impacted their mental and overall wellbeing – and how Teenage Cancer Trust is helping them through the crisis.
In one sweet moment, one patient told Princess Eugenie that seeing the royal in her wedding dress with her scoliosis scar visible had helped to boost her confidence about showing her own scars on her neck and chest from surgery. Darcy Shaw, 21, from Salford, who was diagnosed with skin cancer in February this year, told the Princess: "I've always struggled with my body image, way before I got diagnosed with cancer, and anxiety and mental health issues. I was quite recently diagnosed in February, and now have a scar on my neck and chest from surgery. And I thought to myself, well everything is going to plummet.
Beatrice and Eugenie spoke with patients about the challenges they've faced during lockdown
"But actually, the complete opposite has happened, and I put that entirely down to all the support I've had through the lockdown. I’ve attended body image workshops with Teenage Cancer Trust, and it's boosted my confidence, I can't believe it. I blog a lot and I'm on Instagram and I actually post more photos of myself now, showing my scars, and actually feel better about myself."
Eugenie put her hands in the air and told Darcy: "Woo - I love hearing that Darcy. I have a big old scar down my back and I'm proud to show it off."
Darcy added: "I saw pictures of you in your wedding dress and the scar, and it inspired me that you were so open about it and wanted to have it on show."
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Eugenie proudly showed off her scoliosis scar on her wedding day in October 2018
Eugenie recently posted a photo of her scar from the spinal surgery she had at the age of 12 on her Instagram account to mark International Scoliosis Awareness Day on 27 June.
Also on the call with the royal siblings was Caitlin Wilde, 18, from Droylsden, Callum Marsh, 20, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Lakita Neille, 21, from Manchester, Jack Fielding, 25, from Bolton and Kathryn Rodwell, 21, from Mold in North Wales.
Princess Beatrice said of the charity: "We've grown up with Teenage Cancer Trust, we've been part of this family our entire lives, and it was so amazing to speak with these young people and some of the incredible team who are supporting them through this crisis. They have been through so much already, and as we start to come out of lockdown, many young people will remain in very difficult situations, often separated from friends and family, at home or in hospital. We must not forget about them, and charities like Teenage Cancer Trust who are working so hard to help them cope."
For more information about Teenage Cancer Trust visit teenagecancertrust.org.
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