None of us could have predicted how life changing this year would be, least of all me and others like me who have been diagnosed with cancer. It would have been much harder to cope without the amazing support I received from Wessex Cancer Trust.
My name is Ray, I’m 49 and I live with my wife Louise and two children in Eastleigh. Cancer came like a bolt out of the blue. When I woke up last Christmas morning, I had no idea that instead of celebrating at home with my family, I would have a seizure and be rushed to hospital. My doctors initially thought Id had a stroke, but quickly diagnosed a small but very aggressive tumour.
There was no reason for it. I was young, fit and healthy. Yet here I was facing a New Year of major surgery and months of chemo and radiotherapy. I kept asking, Why me? but there was no answer to that. I was told it was just one of those things. That was really tough to get my head round.
At one of my hospital visits, I was given a leaflet about Wessex Cancer Trust and I went along to its Chandlers Ford Support Centre for a coffee and chat.
Then Louise and I joined the walking group. Everyone was so welcoming and there were no prying questions. They just let us be us. It was like chatting with old friends who understood, and because they support your family too, they help you get through it together.
“We didn’t know if it was for us at first, but it was warm and cosy and everyone was so kind. We realised we really did need help and didn’t have to face this alone. Wessex Cancer Trust has helped us more than they will ever know.”
Louise, Ray’s Wife
Covid has brought new challenges for me, particularly worrying that I might not get back to work and some normality because of restrictions. Even though the Centres are temporarily closed, Wessex Cancer Trust has offered support remotely to me and hundreds of others. It’s been a relief to chat through my fears on the phone with Clare, my counsellor.
With your help Wessex Cancer Trust can continue to support local families through the shock of a cancer diagnosis, and stay by their side throughout treatment and recovery.
A couple of weeks ago I had a scan which showed my treatment has worked. I feel well and positive, but I’m mindful that cancer will always be part of my life and could come back. Talking to Clare has given me the strength to believe that we can enjoy this Christmas as a family and that it will be very different from the last.Donate today
A donation of just £25 will pay for one hour of counselling. To donate, please visit:
Text WCTXMAS to 70085 to donate £10
Wessex Cancer Trust has seen a big drop in fundraising this year because of Covid. They need your support now more than ever.
As we plan this year’s Christmas, I know I couldn’t have got here without Wessex Cancer Trust. Life has changed for all of us this year, but its been particularly tough for people who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Please help Wessex Cancer Trust be there for others like me at the time we need it most.
Ray, Wessex Cancer Trust Client
“We were all so sad that Covid forced us to close our doors temporarily. But as a small charity, we were able to quickly set up helplines and move other services online so that we could continue to support Ray and other local people affected by cancer.”
Jane Wooton, Chandler’s Ford Cancer Support Centre Manager