As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (1 to 31 October), a group of local women are encouraging Leeds residents who are living with cancer and beyond, to gain support from the Leeds Cancer Support team at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre.
The centre offers a variety of support services and supportive therapies for patients and their families.
Kathryn Walshaw (pictured above with other service users at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre), 56, service user at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, said: “The atmosphere at the centre is great, everyone is so supportive from the volunteers to the patients, they’re always there for you no matter what.
“The centre is like an extended family to me, they’ve not only given me support but they’ve also supported my family. If anything is upsetting me I know I can approach the team at the centre; they’re a shoulder to lean on through the good and the bad. All the services offered by the centre, which include; reiki, yoga, counselling, massages and hair loss support are free of charge. I can’t thank the centre enough for their kindness and support.”
Gillian Lyon, Volunteer at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, said: “I would describe the centre as an oasis of calm amongst all the madness. The centre is a lovely place to be and would recommend this to anyone who has cancer, and people who are supporting them. We treat everyone individually as we don’t assume everybody has the same needs, we tailor treatments to their individual needs.”
Dr Gordon Sinclair, Clinical Chair at NHS Leeds West CCG, said: “I would encourage anyone that is living with cancer and beyond, to visit the centre and take along a family member or a friend with you. The centre is based in a non-clinical environment and you can have a cup of tea and talk to the team and volunteers, or other patients that are there in a relaxed environment. There’s lots you can do while you’re there such as join the knitting group, so who knows you may make new friends and pick up a new hobby!”
The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre is based directly behind the Thackray Medical Museum and is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm. For further information call 0113 206 6498 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LeedsCancersupport.
Interviews with Jo are available on request, to arrange an interview please contact the communications team at NHS Leeds West CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us [email protected].
Local case study – Jo from Leeds
Jo, 55 was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2015. She tells us how the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre had helped her.
Jo says: “I decided to go and see my GP as I thought I was due my mammogram. When I arrived at the Screening Unit I was told it wasn’t due until the following year, however as I was there we decided to go ahead with the mammogram. When I was called in and told I had breast cancer, I was completely shocked. I didn’t notice any signs and symptoms of breast cancer and this confirmed to me how important it is to keep track of health tests such as mammograms which luckily for me led to a prompt detection.
“I received fantastic treatment at St James’s University Hospital; everyone was brilliant from my consultant, to my surgeon and my cancer nurse specialist, as I couldn’t have done it without them. My cancer nurse specialist made me feel as though I was the only person on her caseload, although I knew she had other patients to look after but she never showed that.
“I was given a lot of information when I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and one of the leaflets that I had been given was about the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre. I went to the centre in-between appointments and it was nice to be able to talk to people who were in a similar position to me. I attended the different services that were being offered by the centre, these included a makeover session, massage and hair loss support, which I was grateful for.
“I was then invited to a Moving on Group a programme which was being run by the centre. I met nine other women for a few hours each week to discuss various issues, such as diet, medication and our journeys. This was very therapeutic, not only because ending treatment was surprisingly difficult but also because seven of us now meet regularly. We are a group of friends now, all at a similar point in our recovery and all in the process of returning to work after a year off. We eat out one evening a month and have set up a WattsApp group called ‘The Breasties’, where we share photos of new hair styles, chat about where we are at with on-going cancer related health problems and just generally catch up, they are a fab group of new friends.
“I would definitely recommend the centre to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, as they really help you through your journey.”
Notes to editors:
For further information on breast cancer, visit:
- Breast Cancer Care – breastcancercare.org.uk
- Cancer Research UK – cancerresearchuk.org/
- Macmillan Cancer Support – macmillan.org.uk/
- Breast Cancer Now – http://breastcancernow.org/
For media enquiries please contact:
Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds West CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: [email protected]