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Macmillan’s free programme for people affected by cancer in Wales marks 2 year anniversary

Macmillan Cancer Support’s free programme to help people affected by cancer manage the emotional impact of their diagnosis has now marked its second anniversary.

Called Helping to Overcome Problems Effectively (HOPE), the six-week self-management programme is available to anyone living with a cancer diagnosis in Wales.

Since the programme was launched in April 2013 the charity has successfully helped 84 people affected by cancer across the country.

Gwen Davies from Carmarthen explains how her life was turned upside down by cancer and how the HOPE programme helped her.

“When you first get told you have cancer, you don’t know where to turn. You feel like the bottom has fallen out of your world. Then when someone sits with you, tells you what your options are, helps you fill in forms and gives you information, it’s a lot of help and that’s what Macmillan did for me.

“Mary and Helen ran the programme, two very special ladies, both worth their weight in gold. I’d go on another if I had the opportunity, it really was fantastic. It makes such a difference speaking to people who know what you’re going through. You find yourself asking ‘is this normal?’ and it’s such a comfort to have people with answers.”

HOPE co-ordinator Helen Dorman said:

“HOPE is a beneficial programme with content that is tailored and easy to take in. We know that people affected by cancer need practical support. We can individualise our programme and work collectively as a group. We are able to signpost for help and other information. Mary and I love the privilege of facilitating and supporting cancer patients with HOPE courses.”

Upcoming programmes are confirmed for Merthyr Tydfil and Port Talbot and will begin in June.

Topics the programme focuses on include managing stress, fatigue and body image and living positively with the fear of recurrence.

Susan Morris, General Manager for Macmillan in Wales, said: “We at Macmillan know that receiving a cancer diagnosis has a huge emotional impact.

“Around 18,000 people receive the devastating news that they have cancer every year in Wales and they need more than medical help - they also need practical, emotional and financial support.

“Macmillan is delighted with the success of the programme in the last two years and we’re pleased to continue to offer HOPE to people affected by cancer in Wales.  I would strongly recommend the programme to people as it can provide them with the tools they need to manage the emotional consequences of living with cancer.”

People wishing to attend the programme must register in advance.

To register, please contact Genette Webster on 01656 867960 or email gwebster@macmillan.org.uk.

More than 130,000 people are living with or beyond cancer in Wales and by 2030 this number will double to 250,000. Macmillan can only fund programmes such as this thanks to the generosity of the public.

To find out more about how you can help, call 0300 1000 200 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk/fundraising.