- (Reuters/Dylan Martinez)
Kate Middleton, who opened a children’s cancer center with Prince William last month, has written a letter of support to one of the young patients receiving treatment at Royal Marsden Hospital.
The Duchess of Cambridge sent a heartfelt note to Fabian Bate, who is battling leukemia. Middleton said she was touched by the 9-year-old's “strength of character.”
According to the London Evening Standard, this could be the Middleton’s first personal act of charity since marrying Prince William.
The letter, dated Oct. 13, was written on St. James’ Palace letterhead and signed “Catherine.”
"Despite the enormously demanding course of treatment you are undergoing, I was so touched by your strength of character and delighted to hear the news that one of your big sisters will be able to donate bone marrow to you later this year," Middleton wrote. "I will keep my fingers crossed that your health goes from strength to strength over the months ahead."
She added, "This must be a troubling time for you, your parents and your sisters, but I know I left the Royal Marsden assured by how incredibly talented, kind and clever the team at the hospital are. Combined with your belief and positive energy, you couldn't be in better hands."
Bate’s family was shocked when the Duchess’ letter arrived at their home.
"It was a very personal letter. It certainly didn't look like the standard templates these official letters so often use,” Bate’s father, Darrell, told the paper. “It contained very specific information that she must have remembered.”
“We were very touched as she must do a lot of this stuff and to remember Fabian is very moving," he added.
Bate was first diagnosed in 2006 with leukemia. However, it wasn’t until July 2011 that the disease returned. Bate is scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant from one of his two older sisters in December, according to the Evening Standard.
Prince William has followed his mother, Princess Diana's lead, taking up her position as president of the British hospital.
Sources have confirmed to People magazine that Kate, 29, has been visiting various charities in an attempt to better decide which causes she will pursue.
"The Duchess has a broad range of interests," said a royal spokesman. Whatever charity she decides to support "will be different but complement her husband's existing interests."