Real Stories
12 December 2022

Amanda's Story

Including CancerCare in her Will to say "thank you" for specialist grief support after losing her husband

Real Stories
12 December 2022

Leaving a gift in your Will to a charity you hold dear is one of the most thoughtful things you can do.

Legacies are a vital source of income for charities and by including provision for them in this way you are helping ensure they can carry on the good work they do for future generations.

Amanda Wearing chose to include CancerCare in her Will after we helped get her life back on track following the death of her husband Simon earlier this year.

Simon was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer shortly before the onset of the covid pandemic in 2019, and the news hit Amanda hard.

“Simon was the last person you would ever expect to get cancer. He was so fit and healthy and always looked after his diet so it was a real shock,” said Amanda.

The initial shock of losing Simon, after nearly 40 years together, was compounded by the covid lockdown which disrupted medical treatment for cancer patients across the country.

“It was horrendous. I couldn’t go to any of his appointments, scans or treatment sessions with him. It was terrifying, three years of constant ups and downs and worry and it felt like we were constantly waiting for bad news,” said Amanda.

Sadly, Simon’s treatment stopped working and he died in March. His loss left Amanda bereft and three years of struggle, combined with unresolved grief from a number of other family bereavements, left her in need of some extra support.

Amanda had heard about CancerCare services while Simon was being treated so she got in touch and was referred for counselling with David James at our Slynedales Centre in Lancaster.

“I can’t believe what a difference David has made to my life. Having someone to offload how I am feeling has just been brilliant and I have cried with him and laughed with him,” said Amanda.

“Looking back I think I was putting my feelings ‘in a box’ and not dealing with them. I found myself retreating into my bedroom, spending a lot of time there and rarely coming out. I have lots of friends who have been great but when I go for session I feel so comfortable and relaxed that it is easy to open up about anything and everything.”

Amanda also used our volunteer driver service to take her to and from her appointments as she is unable to drive.

Over the 20 week duration of her counselling, her mental health has improved so much that she managed to return to her job as a legal assistant in a solicitors’ office.

“The support from David has helped me realise that I couldn’t just stay at home anymore and I had to get myself out. Asking for help was the best thing I ever did and I would urge anyone who may be in a similar situation to reach out and do the same.

"I wouldn’t have been able to get through my grief without such a caring and understanding person like David. With David's help I have been able to deal with my feelings and calm my thoughts, David has been such an anchor and a calming influence over the last few months and I am truly grateful to him,” said Amanda.

Following Simon’s death, Amanda made a new Will and she decided to include a gift to CancerCare within it as a way to say “thank you” for the support she received,

“To keep going, CancerCare relies heavily on donations and I felt I wanted to include the charity in my Will as I wouldn't have got through my bereavement without this vital service and the kindness of the staff and volunteers,” she said.

Around a quarter of CancerCare’s work supporting local people affected by cancer or bereavement is funded by Gifts in Wills. In 2021/2022, the charity has been grateful to receive gifts ranging from £100 to £260,000. If you’d like to learn more about including a gift to CancerCare in your Will, you can read more here, or speak to a member of the Fundraising Team by calling 01524 381820.

Amanda Wearing

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