“When I went to Maggie’s for the first time, I was in a dark place and I felt like I was falling off a cliff. Maggie’s caught me and I left with a plan but more importantly a smile on my face.”
Nobody plans for cancer. We don't plan financially, we don't plan it into our careers, and we certainly don't plan emotionally.
Maggie's Manchester is here to support anyone affected by cancer in and around Greater Manchester. Our centre is found in the grounds of The Christie hospital, and anyone using the hospital along with their friends and family can visit us to receive a wide range of support. Maggie's provides practical, social and emotional support. This ranges from financial support through our benefits adviser, to occupational advice from our vocational rehab specialist, or emotional support from professional cancer care specialists. Or sometimes, the support a person needs may just be a cup of tea and someone to talk to. Whatever the need, we are here to help.
Maggie's also has a programme of free activities, such as yoga, meditation, art sessions, and courses to help people deal with issues surrounding cancer such as stress or bereavement. Our programme focuses on giving people back their control - something that cancer can sometimes take away. In 2017 Maggie's Manchester will support over 18,000 people. We receive no NHS funding. The incredible support from Maggie’s on the Runway will allow us to keep our doors open, keep our programme running, and to keep supporting the people of Greater Manchester.
Katie, aged 29 has shared her story of how Maggie’s has supported her.
“I had a stiff knee for a couple of years but thought nothing of it as was working long hours as a waitress at the time. I eventually went to my GP as my leg was swollen with blue veins. Following referral to a vascular surgeon a sarcoma was found in my knee. Soft tissue sarcoma makes up only 1% of all cancers so is fairly rare.
I had surgery and chemotherapy and everything initially went well but after a year a new tumour was discovered in my lungs at a routine check up. Again I had surgery which seemed to go well. At a follow up CT scan Sept 2016 they found 3 new nodules in my lungs. I was told that chemotherapy is not particularly successful at treating this type of cancer but no other options were available to me. I was allowed to delay the start of my treatment so I could enjoy a great Christmas with the family then started chemotherapy on the 3rd Jan and will have 6 rounds of 5 day treatments on a 3 week cycle.
I first heard about Maggie’s from a friend I met through a support group who took part in the Maggie’s on the Runway event. My work colleagues had started a collection for me so I thought I would come to Maggie’s to see if I should donate the money to Maggie’s!
When I first walked into Maggie’s I immediately felt it was a safe space where I could talk about things that really scared me and where there was no need to put on a brave face. I felt I had bottled up all my feelings over time so as soon as someone said “are you ok?” I immediately burst into tears. I spoke to Ruby a volunteer and Angela the cancer support specialist. It was great that they just listened to everything I said and it made me feel acknowledged. I felt at home straight away.
I’ve been regularly since then and have talked to other centre visitors about things such as getting my Hickman line put in which I was worried about, it really helped to talk to others going through similar experiences. There is a great community here and when you spend time here together it’s not just about receiving support but giving it too. Maggie’s makes me feel grounded, I don’t feel a victim here just another person.”
If you would like to find out more about Manchester Maggie’s, please click here: https://www.maggiescentres.org/our-centres/maggies-manchester/