Today marks the launch of CancerCare’s Big Give Christmas Challenge. For one week only, donations to our Big Give webpage will be doubled, whilst matched funds last.
With demand for CancerCare’s support higher than ever, a donation this week can have twice the impact and help more people like Anna Edmondson from Windermere.
Anna was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine mammogram last year and likened it to “a bomb going off in her world”. What followed was nine months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy - all during the COVID-10 pandemic.
The side effects of treatment hit Anna hard, and, separated from family & friends by the restrictions, she found it tough not to be able to meet up with loved ones to talk about what she was going through.
“I felt so isolated and frightened to death. I remember knowing I needed some extra help, but just not really knowing what support was out there.”
Anna’s oncology nurses at Royal Lancaster Infirmary helped her to get in touch with CancerCare and she was quickly referred for therapy with our counsellor Shirley Hesketh. During lockdown we were unable to see clients face-to-face so many sessions were carried out over the telephone or via Zoom.
“It was so good to be able to talk to someone at what was a really difficult time” says Anna. “It was great for my husband too as he still went out to work during lockdown and didn’t like leaving me, so it was definitely reassuring for him knowing I was talking to Shirley, too.”
Anna’s therapist Shirley said: “Whether clients prefer phone, webcam or in-person options, we appreciate the hardest stage can often be making that first contact. However, having the time and space to share their concerns or experiences can have a hugely positive effect on many people."
“The pandemic has further complicated treatment and bereavement processes for many people in our local community. Having the opportunity to talk to someone, confidentially, can help them navigate through these challenges or find ways forward when things feel difficult.”
Right now, CancerCare is receiving more calls for help than ever before, from local people like Anna, coping with cancer or bereavement in the wake of the pandemic.