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Sarah Ferguson reveals heartbreaking reason she became involved with long-standing charity

The Duchess of York has helped to launch HELLO!'s Christmas appeal with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

Sarah, Duchess of York has revealed the heartbreaking reason she became involved in one of her long-standing patronages. The royal grandmother, 62, highlighted the vital work of Teenage Cancer Trust as she helped to launch HELLO!'s Christmas appeal.

She was joined by her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, as they met young cancer patients supported by the charity during a meeting in London.

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"When I started to work with the Teenage Cancer Trust over 30 years ago, it was because my stepfather had died of cancer and I wanted to do something for cancer patients," Sarah says.

Argentine polo player Héctor Barrantes Sansoni, who was married to Sarah's late mother, Susan, sadly passed away from cancer in August 1990. The Duchess adds: "Every time I meet one of these young people with cancer, it reminds me how lucky I and my family are. These young people demonstrate such strength that I never fail to find inspiring."

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Sarah, Beatrice and Eugenie are all honorary patrons of Teenage Cancer Trust. The Duchess has held the role since its launch in 1990 and puts it simply: "Without it – this charity funded entirely through donations – too many young people may have to face cancer alone."

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WATCH: Sarah Ferguson launches our Christmas appeal with Teenage Cancer Trust

It is for this reason that she is calling on HELLO! readers to back Teenage Cancer Trust to support others going through cancer this Christmas.

"We are all hoping for a more normal Christmas this year," says Sarah. "But young people with cancer have weakened immune systems. They are living with the constant fear of contracting coronavirus and many won't be able to meet up with loved ones at all. The mental health impact is huge and they need our help to get through this."

"We urgently need your help to be there for every young person with cancer – not just this Christmas but into the future as well," adds the Duchess. "Our work relies entirely on donations from the public, so we really can't do it without you."

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