Candlelighters Children’s Cancer Charity Has a New Trustee

Candlelighters has appointed cancer survivor Rohan Randhawa as Trustee.

Almost twenty years ago when he was only eight years old,, Rohan Randhawa was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Now, as a Trustee, he’s supporting Candlelighters, the charity that helped him during his treatment.

As a young boy, Rohan’s older brother noticed his hands and feet had swollen up while playing cricket in the garden. His mother took him to A&E where it was found out that Rohan’s kidneys had burst. However, this wasn’t the most startling discovery of their visit: a small growth had been found on his lymph node, which resulted in a cancer diagnosis.

Rohn Rndhw (r) with brother Gurmn

Rohan, now 27, started chemotherapy and spent many years in and out of St James Hospital, where he first met children’s cancer charity Candlelighters. Rohan: “The pink t-shirts of all the Candlelighters staff is something that still resonates today and makes me feel at ease.”

Rohan is National Manager for Chance to Shine, a national cricket charity. Before his father passed away in 2016, he had donated monthly from his wage to Candlelighters, and often said to Rohan that he one day also needed to give something back.

Rohan reflected on his traumatic experience as a child with cancer: “I truly believe that without the emotional support Candlelighters provided me and my family with all those years ago, I might not have dealt with things as well as I did, and I may not be where I am today. The reason I took up a trustee role on the board at Candlelighters is to try do my bit to support young people going through the worst imaginable circumstances. Walking into the Candlelighters Family Support Centre brought back that feeling of comfort and calm straight away.”

The Candlelighters Trustee Board is made up of a team including clinical experts, parents of patients, and now, past patients, to make important decisions on how the charity is run. CEO, Emily Wragg: “We are so grateful that Rohan has joined the board and will bring his knowledge of a child’s experience with cancer and the long-term side effects, as well as his expertise in the charitable sector, to Candlelighters. He has already contributed so much, and we can’t wait to work with him further in the future.”

Established in 1976, Candlelighters is dedicated to supporting children and their families across Yorkshire who are impacted by childhood cancer. Each year, in Yorkshire alone, over 150 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer. The charity offers family support in many forms, from practical financial support for families and funded holidays, to talking therapies, wellbeing treatments and support groups for siblings.

With wife Karina

Learn more here about what Candlelighters do, and how you can make a difference for children and help to bring them the comfort and calm that Rohan has experienced first hand.