10 years ago, Joan arrived back in England after spending some time travelling around Cambodia and Vietnam; she had never felt better. However, her life suddenly changed; she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After extensive surgery and six months of chemotherapy Joan was cancer free, and Joan credits the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre for helping her through this tough period.

“Quite early on in my treatment, I was told about the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. I was fortunate enough that I had good friends and family to support me, and I felt okay. Then one day, without warning, I was not okay.”

“I immediately felt alone, overwhelmed and scared. I needed to speak with someone who understood how I felt. I walked through the door of the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre and was greeted with a warm welcome and a cup of tea. Here I was able to get the correct advice and the right support; I felt as if someone had taken hold of my hand and held it all through my journey.”

The Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre provides psychological, emotional and practical help to those affected by cancer, both patients and carers, at any stage of their pathway. The centre offers therapies which are complementary to their treatment, not an alternative, including reflexology and ear acupuncture. There is also the drop in centre, described as ‘a haven’ and ‘a special place’ by patients and carers. The drop in centre provides information, offers supportive listening and supports with financial advice.

“When someone tells me they have been diagnosed with Cancer, I tell them they will feel privileged to meet the wonderful people at Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre as they go on their personal journey. As a patient I was overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity of spirit.”

Joan now acts as an ambassador for the centre, often speaking at events and in the local community, sharing her experience and saying a personal thank you on behalf of both her and others who have had such benefits that made the world of difference.

To find out more about the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre and how you can support it, click here