After being diagnosed with sarcoma (a rare bone cancer) in 2013, which became terminal by 2015, Leroy Duffus decided he wanted to give something back. With his experience in both the voluntary and statutory sectors working with young people and adults, Leroy started to get involved with charities supporting young people with cancer. He soon discovered the lack of local community charities supporting young people, especially those around the patient i.e. children of cancer patients, siblings, carers etc.
In 2017, Leroy decided to form a committee of friends and family who shared his vision: to work together to support young people affected by cancer. He then set up a Pilot Project with a group of young people who had parents/grandparents that had suffered in the hands of cancer. The aim of this group was to meet together on a regular basis to offer support through recreational activities.
The Pilot Project was a success and the committee decided to form a Charity Foundation to support other young people in the local community (across South London), whilst raising awareness of cancer, through education programmes. This was the start of the Duffus Cancer Foundation. After a 5 year battle with cancer, Leroy passed away peacefully on Monday 17th September 2018. Leroy demonstrated true courage and strength throughout his battle and was a true inspiration to everyone that knew him. Leroy had a strong passion for helping young people and always went above and beyond to ensure that they had the best chances to succeed in life. Leroy wanted to inspire others and encourage positivity, no matter what life throws at you. He lived his life by that, right until the very end.
Leroy’s dream was to set up an organisation to bring people together, creating a community. His legacy lives on: not only through the impact on the many lives he has touched but also through the Duffus Cancer Foundation.