New Ferry woman speaks about impact of Teenage Cancer Trust

Mod enthusiasts are gearing up for a month-long series of 32 fundraising gigs taking place across the country during March as they get one step closer to reaching one million pounds for Teenage Cancer Trust.

The group, called March of the Mods is the brainchild of Eddie Penny, a bus driver, and Teenage Cancer Trust supporter, from Liverpool. Twelve years ago, he had the idea of staging a series of mod music gigs across the country in March.

The gigs so far have raised over £853,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust.

To recognise this incredible achievement, the charity met with representatives from March of the Mods, in Liverpool – the city where it all started.  

The group also met Mel Kelly, 23, from New Ferry (pictured above), who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2022 after experiencing headaches and problems with her vision.

Mel has been supported by Teenage Cancer Trust’s Youth Support Coordinator Franki, who also attended the event.

Mel, who was treated at Walton Centre in Liverpool, spoke passionately about the impact of the ongoing support she has received from Teenage Cancer Trust and in particular the events organised by Franki, where she could meet other people her age who have cancer.

Mel said, “Franki is so full of life, that’s for sure. Nothing is ever too much of a problem and she is all for the young people she works for. Everything she does has their best intentions at heart.

“She is amazing and I would be lost without her. I used to think that in the grand scheme of things my cancer journey wasn’t a big thing. Franki makes me realise that I’m not on my own and that it’s okay to know it was a big thing to go through.

“I don’t know where I would be without her, as she has been a massive help and is always there when I need her. I receive a home visit from her every two weeks, and she is also available to my mum and dad too if they need support.

“We do peer support events once a month. It’s a big deal to be able to speak to other young people who have had similar things happen to them.”

(L-R) Nicky Cullen, Franki Sefton (Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator), Mel Kelly, Yvonne Broadfield (March of the Mods Liverpool), Mark Kelly (March of the Mods Liverpool), Gaz Heckman (March of the Mods Blackpool), Sharne Williams (March of the Mods Liverpool)

March of the Mods Liverpool takes place on 2 March, at The Bentley Liverpool, Brunswick Street. Doors open at 6pm and confirmed acts include: The Paul Weller Experience, The Odels and On The Fly.

Ticket holders will enjoy mod music and raise vital funds for local causes such as The Paul Lavelle Foundation and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Teenage Cancer Trust funds specialist hospital units, nurses, and youth workers across the UK. They’ve built a network of 28 age-appropriate hospital wards and funded a dedicated team of over 100 nurses and youth support coordinators, who are experts in meeting the unique and complex needs of 13-24 year-olds with cancer.

Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to meeting this vital need – so no young person faces cancer alone.

Eddie Penny, founder of the March of the Mods said, “March of the Mods once again will harness its group power to raise funds through its events for charity. From its humble beginnings, March of the Mods, has always given 100% of what it raises away to worthwhile charities, with Teenage Cancer Trust being the charity that has linked all our events together.

“Each year over two hundred bands and DJs along with the event organisers give their time free of charge to benefit those less fortunate than themselves. We are proud of what has been achieved over the years.”

Emma Cross, Senior Relationship Manager for the North West and Cumbria at Teenage Cancer Trust said, “No teenager or young person should ever have to face cancer alone. We’re incredibly proud of the money raised so far at these iconic events and excited to see what can be achieved this year, as March of the Mods gets even closer to achieving its one-million pound goal. 

“Every pound raised is vital in allowing us to protect our specialist services to ensure young people get access to the very best treatment, care and support no matter where they are based.”

“Fundraisers like the March of the Mods mean that Teenage Cancer Trust can fund outstanding nurses to provide care and comfort, and experienced youth workers to help them cope with emotional distress. Without the support of fundraisers like March of the Mods none of this would be possible.”

March of the Mods will see 32 gigs take place from 1 March in major cities and towns across the UK and Ireland. For more information visit: www.facebook.com/Marchofthemods

Lead image: Mel Kelly of New Ferry, who has been supported by the charity

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