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Two speakers for the price of one… and two rounds of applause

A slide from Jessica Southworth’s PowerPoint presentation

Jessica Southworth, fundraiser for Clic Sargent, told the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus that the cancer charity for young people is facing a 60 per cent drop in income, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Another slide from Jessica’s presentation

Jessica delivered her PowerPoint presentation online and talked about how the charity spends its money.

She then introduced service user Ruby Walvin, a musician from Wigston, who was in her first year at Liverpool University when she became unwell and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia.

Ruby, who was looking forward to celebrating her 21st birthday two days after speaking online to an audience of nine Rotarians, talked about her symptoms and treatment. Her treatment, which involves daily oral chemotherapy and quarterly lumbar punctures, causes big changes in body weight, hair loss and acne.

Ruby said the great thing about Clic Sargent was that June, her Clic nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary, looked upon her as a person, not just as a cancer patient. “It’s so nice to be treated as a person, to have some fun,” she said.

Ruby Walvin talking in the Rotary meeting using Zoom

Ruby’s eyes lit up and her smile broadened as she recalled how she received a £200 grant from the Clic charity. Vocalist Ruby spent it on a microphone to use when she is recording her music.

She is looking forward to going back to uni to re-take her first year, which was so badly affected when she became ill 18 months ago.

Her audience wished Ruby a happy birthday and thanked her and Jessica for speaking to them about a charity which is clearly making a big difference in the lives of children and young adults who are living with cancer.

For the third week running, as has been the custom during the pandemic lockdown, members paused their meeting to leave their computers, wherever they were, to take part in the Clap for Carers.

One of the Novus members told Jessica and Ruby that they could tell their families and friends that their presentation was so successful that Novus members gave them a big round of applause halrf-way through as well as at the end!

Last edited: 21:45 on Thursday 09.04.2020