“I cannot speak highly enough of HRCC; it has supported me through some dark times”.

In 2008, Margaret McDermott was working as a volunteer based in Harlow, as a home visitor and befriender for ladies who were coping with cancer. Then in 2010, Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time and turned to Helen Rollason Cancer Charity for support.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in 2010. I had remained cancer free for 25 years, then having my yearly mammogram I was diagnosed in June 2010 with HER 2 breast cancer.

This was a great shock to me, as my husband had died suddenly in the January, and with two young children, who had just lost their father, I had to stay strong and be positive. My treatment was six months of chemotherapy, 12 months Herceptin, and a lumpectomy in 2011, followed by six weeks of radiotherapy.

This is when I felt I wanted some support and went to the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity for some much needed TLC, which I knew would be of considerable help to my recovery, both mentally and physically. The therapists have great empathy not only on suggesting which therapies would benefit me but also offering a listening ear. This helped me to feel strong enough to return to my volunteer work as a supporter, which I loved.

Unfortunately in November 2013 I had a kidney cancer operation to remove my left kidney. Again I had four months of chemotherapy. Mentally and physically I found this very hard to cope with. Once again, HRCC helped me with great support not only with the therapies but also their counsellors. I was not coping very well but after six weeks talking with their counsellor I was once again a lot stronger.

Since my kidney cancer, I have had two bladder cancer operations. I am still going for my therapies and have made many new friends during my time. I have recommended the Charity to many of my friends and family who have also found the support and care to be brilliant.

Sadly in 2019 my husband and my elder sister passed away so I had a double funeral to arrange which was not easy. Thankfully my family, friends, neighbours and HRCC were there for me again during a turbulent period of my life.

I cannot speak highly enough of Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. It has supported me through some dark times. I am back on track, being positive and having a full and happy life, a lovely family, great friends and still looking forward to my therapist appointments.

If you feel you need support during your own cancer journey, please pick up the phone and give them a call; you will not regret it.

If this article has raised questions about our services and its benefits, click here to contact one of our Support Centres to see how our services could support you. 

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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.