Marriane’s story

Marriane Cavaco talks about her experience with cancer, the support Helen Rollason Cancer Charity has provided and how she gave something back to the charity with her own personal challenge…

“On 2 February, 2010, my life views and events were changed in a way I had never imagined; one that would affect so many that love and care for me.

I faced a diagnosis of Stage 3 Cancer of the Lymphatic System. Three regimes of chemotherapy lasting just short of three years, and an uncertain long-term future.

My first session of chemotherapy was six weeks later, I was scared, sick and in pain but it was my time to fight, no matter what. During this time I was introduced to one of the complimentary therapists from the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. She soothed my pains, eased my fears, and calmed my mind with reflexology during the chemo infusions. Though every session at the hospital was scary, at least I had something to look forward to; with my treatments.

The services offered by the charity extend way beyond the hospital bedside, not only for the person needing treatment, but the family and carers too. They offer counselling and advice services, all within a calm and non-medical environment. The Rochelle House Centre in Chelmsford is a place I have spent many hours talking, relaxing and soul searching. When you feel stripped of everything that identifies you – health, confidence… hair – you do feel lost, incomplete, angry and confused. Sometimes, those closest to you don’t understand (unlike someone who has experienced it themselves).

This was my safe place, where I was totally understood without having to give reasons for how I was or wasn’t feeling. It has been my lifeline, absolutely invaluable, giving me the strength and understanding I needed to keep fighting.

Once again it’s my turn to repay my thanks, and to help the charity to continue to provide the legacy dear Helen Rollason strongly felt was needed for people facing the, sometimes, long and tough journey of cancer treatment.

Well, that’s my story, and though my treatment and use of the centre is not needed these days, I have recently abseiled 110ft to raise as much money to help the charity continue to offer their invaluable help to others. If you want to help this fantastic cause to provide further help and support for people living with cancer how about taking on a charity challenge too?”

Charity challenges are about taking people out of their comfort zone to raise money. Whether it’s a 5k fun run, a trek to the top of the Himalayas or another personal challenge, anybody can take one on. Contact Community Fundraiser Heather Wooderson on 01245 380719, or email

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We are calling on everyone in our community to play a vital role in helping us to fundraise which will allow us to continue enabling quality of life while living with cancer.