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Charlene Young is an award nominated Advocate for improving outreach to all communities. She uses her passion and eminence through her own health inequalities to support others and by campaigning for changes in equality and diversity in cancer care. It all started at the age of 19, when Charlene became the youngest Retail Manager within the Rubicon Group, on one of the biggest High Streets in the world, Oxford Street, London. There she gained her first exposure and experience of leading a successful team in business. In 2006 Charlene gave birth to her son and decided to change career from retail to education. She was the first member within her immediate family to attend University but was unable to complete her bachelor’s degree in Business due to her receiving devastating news. In 2011, at the age of 27, Charlene was diagnosed with an Osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer) where she received limb sparing surgery undergoing a full knee replacement. This was followed by a heavy and lethal cocktail of medication, and intensive rehabilitation, to be able to independently walk again. Adjusting to life with permanent mobility issues, she was unfairly faced with many inequalities and inconsistencies surrounding her care, a lack of mental health support, and additional failings. Her son was 5 years old at the time and she received no support from his school. After a long haul of physical rehabilitation, in 2013, Charlene founded and launched a small charity, 2Gether Konnected – helping cancer patients and their families within the local community. She wanted to ensure and assist all patients received the care in areas she did not. Through this service Charlene continues to provide one-to-one cancer coaching and signposting. Against Doctors' advice, Charlene gave birth to her daughter in 2014. Shortly after, Charlene returned to work with a new goal in mind - to learn and master everything about administration within the out-of-school and education sector. In 2016, with years of experience under her belt Charlene co-founded and proudly opened a holiday play scheme project for children aged 5 - 12 years old. One year later in 2017, Charlene officially launched her own administration consultancy, Admin Consultants UK, providing specialist clerking services within the education sector. With every effort to raise awareness and speak on her cancer experience. In 2019, Charlene was invited to take part in the UK's first all black female cancer exhibition, appearing in media outlets such as ITV news, BBC radio, local newspapers and she also shared a stage with Simon Stevens (the former Chief Executive of NHS, England). She was a brand ambassador for Black Women Rising UK and has featured in both their magazine editions since 2020/21. Eight years after diagnosis Charlene finally shared her story with The Bone Cancer Research Trust, which was published on their website, social media, and newsletter. She was also the Guest Speaker for the first ever bone cancer support group in London and has spoken every year at The Bone Cancer Conference since 2020. In 2021 Charlene was honoured to receive an ambassador award nomination from the BCRT for her advocacy work. Charlene now specialises as a patient advocate and as an advisory board member on various hospital panels, charities, and health organisations. She consults and collaborates with researchers and medical teams to inform, improve patient care and advocates for groups that are underrepresented. She has been featured in several articles and campaigns, including The NHS Foundation Trust, Cancer Support UK, and Community Southwark. Charlene also continues to be a Cancer Coach Facilitator for Cancer Support UK, leading structured courses and providing practical and emotional discussions to people living with cancer, both during and after their treatment. In 2022 Charlene was selected out of 400 applicants for a place on the cancer panel for one of the world’s largest research based pharmaceutical companies. Despite her mobility and multiple chronic conditions, Charlene continues to be a great Mother whilst continuing to raise awareness, advocate and public speak on cancer care, health inequalities, mental health and supporting her community.

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