By Leah Conway –
The Ella Dawson Foundation is a new charity providing support for young adults living with cancer across the nation. The foundation was launched earlier this year on 11 February – Ella’s birthday. The launch was at a commemorative art exhibition of Ella’s artwork hosted by Newcastle University.
According to Cancer Research UK, approximately 2400 new cancer cases in young adults are diagnosed every year and while cancer survivorship rates are increasing there are still long term physical and psychological impacts on people’s wellbeing.
The Ella Dawson Foundation aims to support people with their long term wellbeing by providing psychological, physical, nutritional and wellbeing support across the nation as well as providing a vibrant social community.
The foundation aims to support young adults between 18 and 30 years old as well as their families. The charity is upheld by a team of experienced clinical professionals and young ambassadors who offer the support the young adults and their families need for up to two years following the completion of active treatment.
Ella Dawson’s Legacy
The Foundation embodies a legacy to Ella Dawson who was an aspiring artist from Huddersfield. Ella was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer in 2019 and underwent two years of treatment, but the cancer kept returning. Ella sadly passed away last year in July, aged 24 years old.
Through Ella’s experience of being diagnosed, she found that while her clinical and medical care was outstanding, there was limited inclusive wellbeing support for young adults with cancer in the UK. Seeing this, Ella started to create a blueprint of how support for young adults with cancer could be better supported holistically.
Ella’s first steps were to create a blog following her health journey, she worked closely with blood cancer charities and constantly developed her knowledge of physical and mental health, wellbeing, and self-healing.
“A small charity with a huge heart”
Jane Dawson, Ella’s mum and a trustee of The Ella Dawson Foundation, expressed that the charity’s aim is to continue the work Ella started by creating a safe and supportive space for young adults and their families, she reflected:
“Ella believed passionately, through her own experience, that physical and emotional wellbeing support can make a huge difference when going through a cancer journey. She was determined to create a blueprint to help others in the same situation
“We are a small charity with huge heart and an even greater ambition to make a difference in the lives of young adults with cancer and their families. Our goal, in honour of Ella, is to help young people to live as well and as empowered as possible during and beyond a cancer diagnosis
“Despite her situation, Ella faced every day with gratitude, positivity, incredible strength, bravery and humour. Inspired by her vision, her creativity and her philosophy on life, we are committed to building a positive and sustainable charity.”
Fundraising for The Ella Dawson Foundation
As well as providing support programmes and activities, the foundation has several fundraising initiatives planned. Upcoming fundraisers include:
- A London to Paris Cycle Ride in July,
- The Great North Run in September,
- An Everest Base Camp Trek in November.
The fundraisers are set to be a success as so far the foundation has received great support from hospitals, other charities and the public. The Ella Dawson Foundation encourages any young adults living with cancer and their families, clinicians, and others to get in touch if they wish to learn more.
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