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‘Learning to live again’ Tiff Youngs exclusive

Claire Mutimer and Suzy Coulson, of The Backstory podcast, with an exclusive interview with Tiffany Youngs, wife of international rugby star Tom, about her cancer diagnosis, treatment, terminal prognosis, shock remission and the impact it has had on her four-year-old daughter and family.

At the age of 28, Tiff Youngs appeared to have an amazing life – recently married to Tom Youngs, the England, Lions and Leicester Tigers rugby player, with a new baby girl Maisie and a lovely family home in Leicester.

However this was all about to be turned on its head when she found out in 2014 that she was suffering from Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The latest Backstory podcast, which went live today (May 22), tells the remarkable story of how Tiff dealt with three years of ill health and numerous different treatments, including a stem cell transplant, only to be told the devastating news in May 2017 that her cancer was terminal.

Tiff said she told her daughter: “I said you know mummy hasn’t been very well, unfortunately mummy has got to go to heaven….and she was like ‘Oh OK so I never see mummy again’.” She was, at one point, given between four weeks and a year to live.

In the interview, Tiff talks to Claire about her health and emotions, and the extraordinary turnaround which sees her now in remission from the disease. This conversation with her daughter was quite different. “I said you know mummy was ill and lost all her hair, mummy’s all better now and so mummy isn’t going to heaven any more….and you suddenly just saw a different person in her…just a spring in her step,” she said.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the development of lymophocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood, bone marrow and lymph glands. It affects the immune system and is often first diagnosed on finding swollen lymph nodes in your armpits or groin. Around 12,000 people are diagnosed with a type of lymphoma every year. Hodgkin Lymphoma refers to the specific lymphocytes which are affected.

Tiffany’s husband Tom plays for Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, is the current club captain and has received 28 England caps, as well as Lions success. Younger brother Ben also plays for Leicester and England. Ben opted to miss the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand following Tiff’s terminal prognosis in order to support Tiff and Tom. The brothers grew up in Aylsham. Youngs Park in the town is named after the family after they donated land for the park.

Tiff’s backstory podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Acast and other podcast directories.  Find out more at thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you would like more information then you can get in touch with Claire and Suzy on hello@thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or by calling 07990 582683/07595 335855.

Tiffany with husband Tom and daughter Maisie

Picture: Claire Mutimer

Search for children to star in Miss Saigon

Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon is looking for boys or girls to play the role of Tam when the show heads to Norwich Theatre Royal from August 15 to September 15.

The character is small, cute, confident and South-East Asian looking. He is not younger than four and not older than six, and children must live within a commutable distance of Norwich.

Anyone who wants further information or to apply should email Joanne Hawes on joanne.hawes2013@gmail.com including a small head and shoulders photograph.

Set during the last days of the Vietnam War, Miss Saigon tells the story of 17-year-old Kim who is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as The Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI called Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of the city.

For the next three years, Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris. Tam is Kim’s son.

This new production of Miss Saigon opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim. The show swept the board at the 2015 Whatsonstage.com awards winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best West End Show and Best Revival of a Musical and gained the most awards ever won by a single show in the 15-year history of the awards.

Since its London premiere in 1989, Miss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history. It has now been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including three Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards, and four Drama Desk Awards, and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide.

Miss Saigon, runs August 15 to September 15 at 7.30pm, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. There are no Sunday performances. Tickets are £8-£60, with discounts and special performances avialable.

Book now at www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.

Free Cringleford dementia awareness event

A care home in Cringleford is inviting the local community to its free event for families caring for those living with dementia.

On Tuesday May 15, from 2pm-4pm, the Care UK team at Cavell Court on Dragonfly Lane will open the doors for the return of its popular Understanding Dementia event.

Renowned dementia specialist Dr Nori Graham will be on hand to help people understand what it is like to live with dementia. There will also be support and practical advice on what dementia is and how memories are lost, as well as useful tips on how to overcome communication barriers.

After the event there will be a Q&A session and the opportunity to meet the Cavell Court team and look at the care home.

Jennie Rodger, home manager at Cavell Court said: “We know how challenging looking after a friend or relative living with dementia can be. It’s natural to feel confused about how to behave, and our event aims to offer professional knowledge and insight to those who need it – as well as provide a hub for shared experiences.

“We want people to know they’re not alone, and we’re here to offer support. We look forward to welcoming them to the home for an inspiring afternoon of information and guidance.”

To find out more about at Cavell Court, or to book your free place, call customer relations manager, Samantha Woods on 01603 856 835, or email samantha.woods@careuk.com


Location, Location, Location looking for buyers

TV property experts Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer (pictured) are looking for homes in the Norwich area for a new season of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location. The presenters will be helping people find their dream home this spring. Chain-free buyers struggling to find the right property are welcome to apply.  Programme chiefs will be talking to potential buyers over the next few weeks. A spokesman said: “Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, buying your first property or hoping to find your ideal forever home, you could have two top property experts on your side. Whatever the budget and however tricky the search – we would love to hear from everyone! Phil and Kirstie may be just the helping hand you need! The online application form can be found via: www.shortaudition.com/Location-Location-Location

Cringleford care home hosts open day

Cavell Court care home in Cringleford is inviting local people to join in its celebrations for Care Home Open Day.

On Friday April 20, from 11am-6pm, the team at Care UK’s Cavell Court, on Dragonfly Lane, will be opening the doors to the care home for a free family-friendly event.

The day is in celebration of Care Home Open Day, a countrywide initiative to create lasting relationships between care homes and their local communities.

Visitors can look forward to a day of celebrations to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. There will be games and competitions throughout the day, as well as a celebratory all-day buffet prepared specially by the care home’s chefs.

There will be live entertainment from local singer, Kyle, to get everyone into the party spirit and the opportunity to meet new home manager, Jennie Rodger, and take a tour of the care home.

Jennie said: “Here at Cavell Court we believe that building relationships with the local community is incredibly important in enriching the lives of residents, which is why we’re excited to be taking part in Care Home Open Day this year. The event is a brilliant way of getting to know our neighbours, and building intergenerational relationships between residents and the local people.

“We have plenty of activities and entertainment on offer for all the family, so we hope that the local community will join our celebrations.”

Visitors to the Care Home Open Day event at Cavell Court will also be able to pick up their copy of Care UK’s guide, A Helping Hand, which can also be downloaded from careuk.com/helpinghand.

To find out more about Care Home Open Day at Cavell Court, please call customer relations manager, Samantha Woods on 01603 856 835, or email samantha.woods@careuk.com. For general information please visit, careuk.com/cavell-court.

 

Cavell Court care home

REVIEW: Jerusalem, Maddermarket

Jerusalem, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich Players

The Norwich Players production of Jez Butterworth’s acclaimed play, Jerusalem, shocks and jolts from the opening scenes.

The powerful play has a charismatic rebel as its central character, who is against all middle England society holds sacred.

Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron is a man living his life on the edge of society in a clearing in a wood. He lives in a caravan and deals in, and is often high on, drugs and alcohol. His lifestyle is a magnet for a group of young people who society has given up on

Rooster is played by Nick Meir, who gives a performance that is disturbing and also very moving. He believes in the spirits that live and have lived in the mythical past in the woodland of his home in Wiltshire. His existence in the forest is under threat as the local council want him gone so they can cover his wood with a new housing estate and they are making plans to evict him.

There is also the annual village fair held on St George’s Day which is the climax of his struggles and battles with the council and the group that surrounds him.

This is a production which questions whether an alternative lifestyle can exist along side the commonplace and it is very skilfully played by the cast. The energy, enthusiasm and talent makes this a compelling production.

The play is running at the Maddermarket Theatre until Saturday (March 24).

Kevin and Sandra Stone

REVIEW: Relatively Speaking, Maddermarket Theatre

The Norwich Players put on a great performance on Friday (February 16),  giving the Maddermarket audience plenty of laughs.

Relatively Speaking, which runs until Saturday (24th)  is one of Alan Ayckbourn’s earliest successes, but this production has been updated from the original 1960s to the early 1980s by director Jo Edye.

The action centres on the lives of two couples, both of whom share a dark secret that they don’t realise is connected.

The four actors, Teresa Baron who plays Ginny, Rohan Gotobed who plays Greg, Russell J Turner who plays Philip and Jo Davis who plays Shiela, interact with great skill and superb comedy timing.

The twists and turns in the play tie the characters in hilarious knots, which has the audience laughing as they work their way out of the muddles they get into.

A surprising and inspired interlude was the first scene change, which had a strong 1980s feel with the hit songs from the era, and four women in 1980s dress, who managed the scene change in true and comical style. Fabulous.

A great night and a great performance by the Norwich Players.

The play runs until Saturday. For tickets, call the box office on 01603 620917 or see www.maddermarket.co.uk.

 

Kevin and Sandra Stone