A woman from Aberdeen who was diagnosed with cancer at age 21 took centre stage at the Royal Albert Hall last month.
The national charity Teenage Cancer Trust, which held a week-long series of fundraising gigs at the venue from 20 to 26 March, gave Jordan Ramsay, now 23, the red-carpet treatment as part of its Ultimate Backstage Experience programme.
Jordan Ramsay and her mum Kathleen Ramsay were treated to a trip to London to watch Kasabian from some of the best seats in the house, and meet other young people and families affected by cancer.
During the event Jordan also had the chance to have her own moment in the spotlight when she was invited on stage to take a selfie with the 5,000 strong crowd, who lit their phone torches to show their support for young people with cancer.
In addition to all this, Jordan had a behind the scenes tour of the iconic venue and took part in a music workshop, courtesy of the Royal Albert Hall’s engagement team, and enjoyed a backstage dinner and overnight stay in a central London hotel.
After being diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in May 2021, Jordan was supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust team at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
“I was introduced to Amanda, Teenage Cancer Trust Teenage and Young Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist a week before I was due to go for surgery and I’m grateful to have had her support throughout my journey. I have no idea where I would be without her; she’s been a saviour and things would have been harder without her. I had a good support system from friends and family, but it’s not the same. They have their own emotions and worries that come along with it, and it’s unfair on them too for me to offload. Without the support from my outreach nurse Amanda and my psychologist, I would have really struggled and been at a loss the whole time. Life still isn’t normal, but it’s the new normal for me.”
The Ultimate Backstage Experience is a chance for young people to meet others their age who have also been through cancer, build confidence after treatment, and make memories that will last a lifeline. Thanks to sponsorship from Teenage Cancer Trust’s long-term charity partner Domino’s, over 100 young people like Jordan were able to take part this year.
On her experience at the Royal Albert Hall, Jordan said:
“My day at UBE was a day I’ll remember forever, definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity! I enjoyed being behind the scenes and watching everything come together for the performance in the evening. It was lovely to share that experience with other young people and we all had a ball. I still can’t believe I experienced that day!”
Through its annual series of gigs at the Royal Albert Hall Teenage Cancer Trust has raised over £30 million to fund its specialist units, nurses, and youth support teams across the UK for young people aged 13-24. This year, top performers including Wet Leg, comedian Alan Carr, Jake Bugg and legends Roger Daltrey and Joan Armatrading all performed for free to help young people with cancer.
Kelly Scott, Head of Youth Engagement, Teenage Cancer Trust, said:
“Going through cancer and treatment at a young age can be extremely isolating and people can often miss out on experiences that others take for granted.
“That’s why we organise lots of events that bring young people affected by cancer together so they can experience new things, have the opportunity to make friends with people who understand what they’ve been through, and have fun.”
Clive West of Domino’s Pizza Group Domino’s, added:
“As a long standing partner of the Teenage Cancer Trust, we are so proud to be able to support the incredible work they do. Bringing young people affected by cancer together can be life changing, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to make this happen through this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust Ultimate Backstage Experience. We can’t wait to hear more about the memories that have been made for people like Jordan!”