Thursday, 10 April 2008

Prince stars in charity cancer show

WHEN he takes to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall tonight, Prince Aidoo will be representing every teenage cancer sufferer in the UK.

The 19-year-old is introducing a series of star-studded fundraising gigs for the Teenage Cancer Trust, the charity he says played a key role in his recovery from the disease.

Prince, from Leyton in east London, was just 13 when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

“I had severe headaches and pain in my legs and ribs,” says the budding musician and entrepreneur.

“I couldn’t even lift my arms and I was limping.”

His “panicking” mother took him to a doctor and tests confirmed leukaemia.

A year of chemotherapy treatment and recovery followed the diagnosis - and Prince’s life was turned upside down.

He missed months of school - and had to stop playing basketball, a sport he loved.

“I was on the team at school,” he says. “It was devastating that I had to stop doing something I was passionate about.”

Despite missing school, Prince was still able to pass seven GCSEs at the same time as his schoolmates - and things looked like they were on the up.

But when he was 17, the leukaemia struck again.

Prince underwent months of chemo and radiotherapy and his consultant suggested a bone marrow transplant.

In October 2006, Prince had his sister’s bone marrow transplanted. The op was successful and he has been in remission ever since.

“It’s taken a while to get over it all, but for the first time in ages I’m finally keeping my weight constant and am eating properly,” he says.

He hopes to go to Bournemouth University to do a business degree in September - and wants to be an entrepreneur “because I like having a hand in everything and want to make a lot of money”.

In the meantime, his attention will be focused on the Teenage Cancer Trust and helping raise money for the specialist units they provide for teen cancer patients all over the UK.

Prince says that the environment provided by the units - a room for each person, vibrant decor, pictures, computers and flexible visitng hours for friends - played a vital role in his recovery.

At the final Royal Albert Hall gig on Sunday, he hopes to perform a song dedicated to the friends he made while being treated on the TCT ward at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.

“The song is called Smile Away,” says Prince. “It’s a song close to my heart.”

During the series of benefit gigs (8-13 April), Prince will be interviewing the stars and staff backstage and getting the lowdown on planning, organising and performing.

“I want to launch an internet radio station on the Teenage Cancer Trust website in the next few months and put the interviews up on there,” says Prince.

“I don’t think I would have got through my cancer battle without TCT - I want to give a little bit back.”

Book gig tickets at Teen Cancer Trust

Via The Sun

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