A man diagnosed with stage 3 cancer when he was just eight years old has been appointed a trustee of children’s cancer charity Candlelighters.

Huddersfield-born Rohan Randhawa, 27, of Holmfirth, now supports the charity which helped him and his family during his treatment as a child.

In June 2004, Rohan was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His older brother noticed Rohan’s hands and feet had swollen up while playing cricket in the garden.

His mother took him to A&E where it was found 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.

Rohan started chemotherapy and spent many years in and out of St James’ Hospital in Leeds where he first came across Candlelighters.

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, one day, he also needed to give something back.

Rohan Randhawa as a boy (right) with his brother Gurman

Rohan has now joined the Board of Trustees at Candlelighters, after side effects from his chemotherapy treatment as a child made him reflect on his traumatic experience with cancer.

Rohan said: “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 pink t-shirts of all the Candlelighters staff is something that still resonates today and makes me feel at ease.

“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.

Rohan Randhawa

CEO Emily Wragg said: “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.

Learn more about Candlelighters and how you can help HERE

Main image: Rohan Randhawa with wife Karina. All images courtesy of Candlelighters