The Founder’s Story

First, this trust is dedicated to my child who really and will continue to be the motivation behind the existence of this trust. (Mrs Margaret Faith Edet)

It all started in 2017 when I noticed a whitish substance in my child’s left eye. I also noticed that whenever my child is walking, my child usually bangs with the left side of the eye against the wall or substance often. My child was just 1year old then.

I assumed with time it will clear off, then I noticed that it was spreading more and more, we immediately went to see our gp which I wouldn’t want to disclose for some reasons. She checked my child and said my child was perfectly fine that it was nothing.

After a month we noticed this thing kept expanding and my child eventually fell ill on this faithful Saturday morning at about 6am (7 weeks after seeing the GP) and we rushed my child to A&E, we all know how the waiting time at A&E can be. Eventually when it was our turn, we went in to see the consultant, who immediately spotted what was in my child’s eye and told us that she suspected it could be the cancer of the eye. She shouted and asked when has this little child developed this? we told her when we noticed it and explained that our GP said it was nothing.

Without wasting time, we were monitored and rushed to the eye clinic in Manchester. To cut the long story short, my child was moved from Manchester to Birmingham children hospital. We were told it was cancer of the eye called RETINOBLASTOMA and a group E for not discovering on time. The three consultant we met said if we had come earlier, it won’t grow to that stage E.

The only option we had was to evacuate the eye “enucleation”. It was a serious struggle for me to accept but since that was the only option to rescue my child, I accepted with depressed heart because it was like a dream to me. At this time I was pregnant with my other child (above 30 weeks).

Not quite long my husband fell terrible ill and was rushed to the hospital, that was a tough one also, because they thought he wasn’t going to survive it (he had liver abscess). It was tough sleeping with my child in Birmingham hospital at 36 weeks pregnancy for her eye to be evacuated. 

I couldn’t get over that fact of my child’s left eye being evacuated. We were told my child will be going to the clinic every 3 months for appointment till the age of 10 years. I thought about so many things, the negligence of the doctor we approached that just didn’t care to listen to what we were saying just to go home that evening, my not being aware of cancer, not getting any support from anywhere and as at that time we had our applications at the home office, no work, no money, no was tough.

I sat down one day and thought that when I am opportune, I would like to be a voice to the voiceless and help in every way I can to create the awareness of cancer most especially to families. Early detection can safe a whole lot and I am determined to take up this challenge just to make sure no one goes through all my family went through. That why we called it ‘the family unit trust’.

With my own personal encounter with life’s unfortunate circumstances and understanding the importance of being cancer aware. It’s my desire to take part and strive for change. Since I started FAMILY UNIT TRUST, the charity has been supporting families going through cancer from providing activities for their children to the elderly. We have contributed immensely to our community where the outcomes for our cancer patients have improved hugely during the birth of our charity. We have restored a lot of kids from the streets back to their parents struggling with cancer. We have seen our clients move from hospital beds to become volunteers for the charity. We have united lots of families in our community as we noticed loads of separation from them because of cancer. Most especially we are proud of what our kids are becoming. All these achievements still boil down to our great team and sponsor believing in our cause.

I recognize the fact that everyone has a unique contribution to make to the life of our communities which is why we welcome the involvement of all people and aim to treat everyone with equal respect irrespective of who they are. Among the principles underpinning our work are advocating for disadvantaged people and less well-supported causes, involving, and reflecting our area’s diverse communities. We have been creating environments where all individuals are free from discrimination or harassment. That’s why we continue to campaign for greater diversity and social inclusion through our programs, support services, and awareness-raising initiatives. I am so proud to have won the KINGS CORONATION CHAMPIONS AWARD 2023 out of the 5000+ that were nominated and only 500 people were recognized. I was invited to Buckingham Palace for the King’s coronation garden party which is a lifetime achievement for me. I was also nominated for the National Diversity Achievers Award. I won the OSBA AWARD 2023(Outstanding social behavior awards). I am happy for the great support of our team and the community at large. We know that together we can all make a difference.

Cancer Impact in BME Communities

Lower cancer awareness

Lower cancer awareness levels and lower levels of take up for screening services by BME communities is leading to both more advanced disease and poorer survival levels.

Worse prognosis

Cancer patients known to be black were diagnosed with breast cancers with a worse prognosis than those in other ethnic groups. Their breast tumours were significantly larger, of higher grade, more likely to be node positive.

Unmet cancer information provision

BME communities have unmet need relating to the provision of cancer information. This has resulted in lower awareness of cancer risk factors, signs and symptoms and cancer services among BME communities.