Princess Eugenie has been praised by a young woman disfigured by cancer surgery, for having the courage to proudly expose her back scar on her wedding day.
Darcy Shaw, 21, from Manchester, was left with marks on her neck and chest after surgery for skin cancer and told the Queen’s granddaughter, 30, how it was inspiring to see her walking down the aisle showing off her own scar.
Eugenie underwent life-changing spinal surgery to treat scoliosis aged 12, leaving her with a sizable mark along her spine, which she showcased by wearing a wedding dress with a revealing back during her 2018 nuptials to Jack Brooksbank.
Darcy chatted with the royal when Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice, 31, held a video call last week with a group of young people supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Princess Eugenie (pictured) has been praised by a young woman disfigured by cancer surgery, for having the courage to proudly expose her back scar on her wedding day
Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice (pictured), 31, held a video call last week with a group of young people supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust
Darcy Shaw (pictured left), 21, from Manchester, was left with marks on her neck and chest after surgery for skin cancer and told the Queen’s granddaughter, 30, how it was inspiring to see her walking down the aisle showing off her own scar (pictured right)
‘I’ve always struggled with my body image, way before I got diagnosed with cancer, and anxiety and mental health issues,’ Darcy admitted.
‘I was quite recently diagnosed – in February – and now have a scar on my neck and chest from surgery. And I thought to myself “Well, everything is going to plummet”.
‘But, actually, the complete opposite has happened, and I put that entirely down to all the support I’ve had through the lockdown. I’ve attended body image workshops with Teenage Cancer Trust, and it’s boosted my confidence, I can’t believe it.’
The princess put her hands in the air and said: ‘Woo – I love hearing that, Darcy. I have a big old scar down my back and I’m proud to show it off.’
Darcy, who said she will be starting a job as a teacher later in the year, replied: ‘I saw pictures of you in your wedding dress and the scar, and it inspired me that you were so open about it and wanted to have it on show.’
Eugenie and Beatrice are honorary patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust and they chatted to six young people from across the North West as well as staff (above)
In a lighter moment, Eugenie (above) briefly put on a pair of flower-shaped sunglasses she had brought in case any of the patients wanted to play bingo, which has proved popular during lockdown among those helped by the charity
Eugenie and Beatrice are honorary patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust and they chatted to six young people from across the North West, who are helped by the charity’s specialist nurses and youth support coordinators based at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.
The group told the royal sisters about some of the issues they have faced during the pandemic such as shielding, appointment delays and loved ones not being able to visit them in hospital, and the help they have received from the charity.
Teenage Cancer Trust chief executive Kate Collins, who was part of the video call, praised the princesses for their ‘heartfelt’ support.
She said of the young people: ‘Sadly, for them and others, this isn’t their first experience of shielding and the isolation this can bring. Young people facing cancer often feel isolated from their friends and peers, who are moving on with their lives.
Eugenie’s childhood operation resulted in a prominent scar, which she wore with pride, opting for a backless gown for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank last October (pictured)
‘Put a global pandemic on top of that, and it is essential that Teenage Cancer Trust is able to work even harder to make sure young people don’t face cancer alone.’
In a lighter moment, Eugenie briefly put on a pair of flower-shaped sunglasses she had brought in case any of the patients wanted to play bingo, which has proved popular during lockdown among those helped by the charity.
The sisters’ mother Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York is a long-standing supporter of the charity, and opened its first dedicated facility for young people with cancer in 1990.
Beatrice said: ‘We’ve grown up with Teenage Cancer Trust, we’ve been part of this family our entire lives, and it was so amazing to speak with these young people and some of the incredible team who are supporting them through this crisis.
Eugenie shared a photograph (above) of her back scar from the life-changing spinal surgery she had as a child to mark International Scoliosis Awareness Day over the weekend
‘They have been through so much already, and as we start to come out of lockdown, many young people will remain in very difficult situations, often separated from friends and family, at home or in hospital.
‘We must not forget about them, and charities like Teenage Cancer Trust who are working so hard to help them cope.’
Her sister Eugenie, who was called ‘inspiring’ by fans after sharing an image of her scar to Instagram over the weekend for International Scoliosis Awareness Day, said: ‘To hear from these young people was an honour and a privilege, and to hear how Teenage Cancer Trust has been adapting to support them online during this crisis is truly inspiring.
‘This charity and the young people that it works with have created such a wonderful community.
‘We loved hearing all about the fun activities young people have been doing over the past few months and hope to take part an online bingo session with them in the future!’