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Bon Secours St. Francis plans for teen cancer unit

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Bon Secours St. Francis is planning to open an adolescent and young adult cancer unit at its downtown Greenville facility.

Hospital officials said it will be the first of its kind in the Carolinas and only the eighth such unit in the United States, according to a news release.

The new inpatient facility is being established at St. Francis Downtown with the help of Teen Cancer America, a nonprofit organization, and First Citizens Bank and is geared at providing a location where those between 16 and 39 years of age “can receive uniform support, treatment and care in a program and setting designed specifically for them.”

“This new inpatient unit will provide these young people with targeted treatment and care – in a place where they feel like they belong — and help them get through the most challenging experience of their lives,” said Jeff Ward, member of the Teen Cancer America board of directors, in the release.

First Citizens Bank pledged a grant of $320,000 to help establish the new oncology unit along with other programs at Bon Secours. Simon Davies, executive director of Teen Cancer America, said Bon Secours St. Francis will be one of just two regional community hospitals in the country with a Teen Cancer America unit and the first on the East Coast.  He said others are located at “medical academic centers.”

“By establishing this dedicated teen cancer care center in the Carolinas, Bon Secours is filling a great need,” Davies said, in the release. “In the U.S., there are more than 30 young people diagnosed with cancer every day, more than one every hour.”

Teen Cancer America was co-founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust based in the United Kingdom.

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