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Duke Cancer Institute Receives Funds for Teen/Young Adult Cancer Patients

Teen Cancer America and First Citizens Banks bolster services for young patients

Published January 16, 2019 | Updated February 1, 2019

Duke cancer patient and advocate Shannon Voelkel shares her story during Wednesday's event
Duke cancer patient and advocate Shannon Voelkel shares her story during Wednesday's event

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Duke Health News919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. – A festive event at Duke Cancer Institute on Wednesday morning celebrated a $400,000 award from First Citizens Bank and Teen Cancer America to support programs for teens and young adult cancer patients.

“We are delighted to join with Teen Cancer America and First Citizens Bank to continue to expand our specialized oncology services for teens and young adults,” said Cheyenne Corbett, Ph.D., administrative director for Duke Cancer Institute’s Supportive Care and Survivorship Center and Center for Onco-Primary Care. 

“Duke Cancer Institute, Teen Cancer America and First Citizens Bank share a passion for helping teens and young adults facing cancer,” Corbett said. “We recognize the unique medical, social, economic and emotional needs of this vulnerable population.”

First Citizens and Teen Cancer America have pledged $400,000 to support Duke’s Teen and Young Adult Oncology (TYAO) program at Duke. The funds will help fund staffing for a medical family therapist, patient navigator and psychologist. Funds will also support teen and young adult-focused activities and a patient-centered model of care.

“Oftentimes when a teen is diagnosed with cancer he or she may feel isolated and displaced,” said Jeff Ward, Teen Cancer America board member and chief strategy officer with First Citizens Bank. “The TYAO program at Duke addresses these challenging feelings and others on a one-on-one basis and also in group settings. This gift will go far to enhance and expand activities at Duke supporting young people with cancers.”

Following in the footsteps of the successful U.K.-based Teen and Young Adult Cancer program founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend of the rock band The Who, Teen Cancer America helps hospitals and healthcare professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care. 

“The programs that Teen Cancer America develops bring together physicians and allied healthcare professionals from pediatric and adult oncology so teen and young adult cancer patients can receive the specialized treatments and support they need in age appropriate environments,” said Simon Davies, executive director of Teen Cancer America. “This is a unique time in life. There are particular challenges in having to treat both pediatric and adult cancers in this population whilst also giving them the special psychological and social support they need.”

Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S., with offices in 23 states. First Citizens’ sponsorship of Teen Cancer America is its largest corporate philanthropic initiative, which has been implemented across its banking franchise from coast-to-coast. First Citizens is working with Teen Cancer America to raise funds, build awareness and collaborate with hospital and medical centers to establish new teen cancer units and programs.
 

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