Real Stories
08 December 2023

Maria's Story

“Coming to CancerCare makes me feel a lot less scared, gives me courage to go on and an acceptance of what is to come."

Maria slide
Real Stories
08 December 2023

Many of the people who come to CancerCare do so for help and support to help them as they come to terms with the end of their life.

We see dozens of clients each year whose condition can no longer be treated and wish to achieve a measure of physical comfort and a peaceful state of mind.

One of these is Maria Gardner from Kendal who is currently attending our Kendal Centre for sessions of Reiki with therapist Sandra Dacre, after hearing about us through Age Concern.

Maria describes her sessions with Sandra as the “highlight of her week.”

“I feel hugged as soon as I walk through the door. It is such a safe, caring space that makes me feel very secure, calm and comfortable. Sandra is such a wonderful person and always makes me feel like a person rather than a patient,” said Maria.

Reiki is a hands-on therapy, first developed in Japan, that involves using light touch to change and balance the energy fields in and around the body.

During a session, the therapist puts their hands on, or a few inches above, the client’s body and works down from head to toe to encourage emotional and physical healing. It is thought to improve relaxation, ease tension and may also help alleviate physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea and insomnia.

“Sandra’s therapy makes me feel physically energised. Sometimes we talk and sometimes no words are needed, but the effects feel very powerful and last for quite a long time afterwards.

“Coming to CancerCare makes me feel a lot less scared, gives me courage to go on and an acceptance of what is to come. I feel very lucky to have found CancerCare and it has been a real lifeline for me,” said Maria.

As well as providing palliative therapy in our centres, CancerCare also has a team of therapists who deliver services such as aromatherapy and reflexology on the wards at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Westmorland General and Furness General. For more information email

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