“The therapists have helped me to deal with all levels of emotional support and given me the tools I need to get on with my life.”

We hear from husband and wife team Jo and Steve Hammond who both share their experiences of Jo’s cancer diagnosis, alongside Steve’s supporting role and how they gave something back to the Charity.

Jo’s story

My name is Jo and at the age of 49 I was diagnosed with an advanced stage 3, aggressive squamous cell cancer of the bladder and underwent major life-saving surgery. During the first year, I was so busy trying to recover my physical health that my mental wellness took a back seat. Eventually, my mental health became a priority so seeking help I approached the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity to access their support.

I initially began using their counselling services as the fear of cancer returning was overwhelming. I have also accessed their wide range of complementary therapies, such as reflexology and mindfulness course. Unfortunately, my fears were sadly realised when it was confirmed my cancer had returned and spread to stage 4. This time there would be no cure but the Charity continue to support me through my tough battle.

The support Helen Rollason has given me has been so beneficial; they provide a personal face to face service which is friendly, welcoming and has an undeniable humanistic approach. The therapists have helped me to deal with all levels of emotional support and given me the tools I need to get on with my life.

Steve’s story

As can be seen from Jo’s account, the Charity has helped her tremendously through a very difficult time. People tend to forget about partners of cancer sufferers who tend to remain on the peripheral of the journey.

Supporting a loved one with cancer is the most difficult task I have ever had to endure; a feeling of helplessness whilst trying to remain positive, providing support whilst juggling home life and work is a challenge I don’t wish on anyone.  It’s tempting to put your own feelings on hold, as you focus on the wellbeing of the person you care about.

Due to the support Jo has received from Helen Rollason and seeing positive changes in her after receiving counselling and complementary therapies, I decided to continue supporting the charity.

Before Jo was even diagnosed with cancer we had already taken part in Ride for Helen at Hatfield Peverel for a number of years – it was almost fate. The events were very well organised and although challenging, a very pleasurable experience.

Once Jo started to use the Charity’s services, I took part in their very first Ride for Helen Suffolk and thought, why not get sponsored to give back to this Charity who has given us so much? The support I received from friends, family and work colleagues was unbelievable raising over £1,500 for Helen Rollason!

My employer, Anderson Group based in Chelmsford has since raised an incredible £20,000 and has kindly offered to donate further funds from the proceeds of competing in this year’s London Marathon. Eight of my fantastic colleagues will be taking on the gruelling 26 miles to raise money with a target of £30,000!

We would both like to thank Helen Rollason Cancer Charity for everything they do, have done and continue to do for people like us who are living with cancer.

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.