Rockers Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of the Who spent the 1960s and '70s getting rich and famous by making music that appealed to that unmistakable blend of angst, pain and alienation felt only by teenagers and those who remember those years.
Outliers: Teen cancer program gets some rocking supporters
Now, Daltrey and Townshend (who you probably already know are the singer and guitarist of the Who) are reaching out to an even more isolated demographic: teens with cancer. And they're doing it with more than songs, concerts and black T-shirts.
Last week, the two were slated to be on hand in Los Angeles to help announce the opening of the UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen & Young Adult Cancer Program, which has a mission to help meet the physical and emotional challenges that come from a cancer diagnosis for teens.
The center will treat patients at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in LA inside a special unit where patient rooms are designed around a common lounge where teens can help support one another.
Daltrey and Townshend were scheduled to be joined at the Nov. 4 announcement by former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, who also knows a thing or two about appealing to teenagers. Turns out Plant knows about supporting teens with cancer, too, through his involvement with a charity in the United Kingdom called the Teenage Cancer Trust, which has helped fund 19 teen-cancer units in National Health Service hospitals in the U.K.
A fact sheet from the Teenage Cancer Trust notes that teens diagnosed with cancer often end up in pediatric wards with young children or older adults, but the organization says teens receive better outcomes if they're treated by teenage-cancer experts in an environment tailored to adolescent emotional and social needs.
Daltrey has long been involved with the Teenage Cancer Trust, helping it raise more than 8.7 million pounds by organizing annual rock shows, the Concerts for Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall, which have become the trust's largest annual fundraisers. Daltrey himself has performed the albums “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia” at past concerts. Outliers is keeping fingers crossed for a similar excuse to support the cause here in the U.S.
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