The Haven: Breast Cancer Support Centres
An update on recent activities, September 2012
Haven fundraisers carry Olympic Torch
Two of our supporters who have raised thousands of pounds for our Hereford support centre, were given the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch in the relay which covered large parts of the UK. Octogenarian, Moira Starkey, carried the torch from her wheelchair whilst being pushed by another of our fundraising heroes, Mike Chandler. Helen Cleaver who was a past Haven Visitor and now a dedicated fundraiser also carried the torch in the region.
Mind-boggling fundraising challenges
We are so delighted that people choose The Haven as their charity to support and take on breath-taking physical challenges to raise large sums of money for us. These are just two of these amazing heroes:
Mike Chandler, a postman from Hereford, has run many marathons for The Haven in the past but this year he wanted to push himself that much further. Mike literally ran all the way from Hereford to our London support centre pushing his postman’s trolley all the way. This incredible feat took him six days which was basically a marathon every day. After arriving at The Haven he then went on to take his place in the London Marathon. This challenge raised over £20,000.
Ettienne de Beer’s wife, Patricia, visited The Haven in London after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ettienne was so amazed at his wife’s improvement in her health and wellbeing after experiencing our programme that he felt compelled to put something back. He has now embarked on a challenge never attempted before. He is circumnavigating the entire UK coastline by running and cycling in just 50 days and will cover 6719 kilometres. He hopes to raise £100,000 for this gruelling challenge.
Helping more people with our service
We were delighted to receive funds to run an outreach programme from our Hereford centre. This involved our clinical team going on the road to introduce our support programme to people with breast cancer in several towns and cities in the region. Following the success and take-up of this programme we will be offering more outreach days in the coming months.
“A great day of information and a chance to meet other ladies with the same concerns of mine. Ladies who gave the talk very interesting”. Outreach delegate
Two new Haven services
Through help from Macmillan Cancer Support we are now able to offer two new services at The Haven.
Welfare Benefits & Money advice – A cancer diagnosis can have a huge financial impact on people’s lives and finding out about the various benefits on offer can be a daunting task. We now have a specialist adviser at our London Haven who offers high quality welfare benefits and money advice.
Information & support at The Haven – A specialist based at our London Haven can now provide the information and support people need at the time they need it most. This can cover information on cancer treatments, side effects and other related issues.
Downton Abbey cast support The Haven
Members of the hit drama Downton Abbey appeared at our annual fundraising party at the Chelsea Physic Garden which raised an impressive £40,000.
A Visitor’s story, Katie Krivan, London
“It feels like a safe place to go and there's nothing like talking to someone who has been through the same things that you have.
Not many people can say a lion bite saved their life but it is true for me. I had never really checked my breasts before, at 30 I never worried about breast cancer, but in January 2011 when I was volunteering at a lion park in South Africa a lion bit me on the breast so I kept a close eye on it. In April I noticed a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer the following month. It was the worst day of my life. I went through all emotions at once - shock, denial, anger, hopelessness and devastation. I thought: “This happens to other people, not me – I’m too young”. My parents flew over from New Zealand and I had surgery four days later.
My medical team said I had a borderline need for chemotherapy but I made the decision myself to go ahead with it. I was so sick that I couldn't even get out of bed. I suffered insomnia, mouth ulcers, mouth thrush, achy body, headaches and was often near to collapsing. I also lost my nice thick hair which was devastating.
The Haven has been really great. Counselling is really helpful because it gives me time to focus on myself and talk about what I have been through with someone experienced. The Young Women's Support Group gives me a chance to meet and share coping strategies and experiences with others in a similar position to me. It feels like a safe place to go and there's nothing like talking to someone who has been through the same things that you have - especially as all my family lives in New Zealand and I often feel very far from home. Aromatherapy massages are wonderful and relaxing and definitely a treat after everything I have been through.
Looking back I can't believe what I have gone through. People tell me I’ve coped amazingly but the truth is that I do worry that the cancer will come back. For now though, I am just so grateful to still be alive."
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