First Lady visits Charing Cross Cancer Caring Centre
America's First Lady Michelle Obama charmed staff and
users alike when she visited Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre
at Charing Cross Hospital on Wednesday - the
centre's first anniversary.
Michelle was joined by Sarah Brown, wife of the Prime
Minister and Patron of the centre, which she officially
opened a year ago.
During the visit, one of a select few activities chosen for Michelle, she met with users to discuss the benefits of the centre, joined a make-up session for women with cancer and celebrated the centre's first birthday with a slice of cake.
Namina Turay, who has had treatment for breast cancer,
said the First Lady was warm and friendly. "It's her first official visit and this is a great honour," said Nadima. " It's such a privilege, she's so natural and really easy to talk to. The warmth and patience she showed and the time she took to engage with everyone was greatly appreciated."
Michelle and Sarah were also shown around the centre by Charles Jencks, who co-founded Maggie’s with his wife Maggie Keswick Jencks, and Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive.
They were joined by architect Richard Rogers, who designed the centre and landscape designer Dan Pears, who created its garden on Fulham Palace Road and its internal courtyards.
Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre is a unique charity which offers beautifully designed environments for anyone affected by any type of cancer - including family, friends and carers - to get information, practical advice and emotional support.
In the last year, 12,000 people have used the services at the London centre, the first to be launched in England after the success of five centres in Scotland. The charity hopes eventually to have a centre for every NHS hospital in the UK.
Sarah Brown said: “Bringing Michelle to the London centre was a great opportunity to demonstrate the role that Maggie’s plays in the community, inspiring wellbeing through their design and providing the emotional support required to live with a critical illness such as cancer.
"They were originally inspired by American influences in the provision of cancer support which has now taken root all over the UK."
Michelle said: " I was delighted to be invited by Sarah Brown to help wish Maggie’s a happy first birthday in London, community jewels like this Centre should always be celebrated.
" I was impressed with the Centre’s warm and caring environment and enjoyed meeting the people who work and get services here.”
April 1, 2009