The Duchess of York praised the ‘courage’ of young cancer patients as she and her daughter visited a children’s hospital in Liverpool.
Sarah Ferguson was joined by her youngest daughter, Princess Eugenie, 27, at Alder Hey Hospital on Wednesday, where mother and daughter met with staff and patients on the Teenage Cancer Trust Ward to mark the unit’s second anniversary.
Eugenie, 27, who like her mother is an honorary patron of the trust, had taken time off work to visit the hospital, the Duchess said.
The 57-year-old mother-of-two, who has been working with the Teenage Cancer Trust since 1990, told young patients in a speech that they had taught her ‘kindness’, ‘forgiveness’, and to ‘never give up’.
Princess Eugenie and her mother Sarah Ferguson wear matching smiles during a visit to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool
Caring: The Duchess of York and her daughter met with young patients on the cancer ward
Fergie said both Eugenie and her sister Princess Beatrice, who was unable to join them as she was in America, had been to visit teenage cancer units on their 18th birthdays.
The Duchess said: ‘I think it was really important in order that the girls understand what all of you young people go through and how we can help.’
Princess Eugenie said: ‘I think it’s so important to come here and learn.
‘To come and experience that from as a teenager, when I was 18, but also to hear all the amazing things these units have done for teenagers and for the way you have outlook on your diagnoses.’
The Duchess, 57, opened the Teenage Cancer Trust’s first specialist cancer unit in 1990 and has attended almost all of the charity’s 28 new unit openings.
Sorrel Parkin, 17, smiles for the camera flanked by Princess Eugenie, left, and Fergie, right
Addressing patients and their parents, she said: ‘Young adults, or sufferers from teenage cancer, it was you all who taught me so much.
‘You taught me forgiveness, you taught me kindness, you taught me never to give up, courage in facing adversity.’
The unit, which opened on the new hospital site in 2015, includes a social space with a home cinema system, pool table, jukebox and breakfast bar.
Director of fundraising and marketing at Teenage Cancer Trust, Kate Collins, said: ‘It was a pleasure seeing our honorary patrons bring so much fun and positivity to the young people they met today, helping us celebrate the incredible support provided at this unit.
‘Right now, for every young person with cancer that we reach, there’s another we can’t.
‘We’re determined to change that. We urgently need to raise more funds so we can expand our team of Teenage Cancer Trust nurses so we can support all young people with cancer who need us.
‘The commitment and support of our honorary patrons is so important in helping us move towards this goal.’
Louise Shepherd, chief executive of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, said: ‘It was an honour to welcome the Duchess of York and HRH Princess Eugenie to join in the celebrations here at Alder Hey and meet some of our young patients.’