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Louise's Story

“Everyone who volunteers has first-hand experience and knowledge of breast cancer and their advice is invaluable. It’s also refreshing to go somewhere where often the discussion is about anything other than cancer.”

The Sunshine Group came into my life at a time when I had finished all my active treatments for Invasive Lobular Cancer. I found I had a lot of support whilst I was in active treatment but once that ended it was a very lonely time. I was given my Tamoxifen and reacted badly to it and was given support through that transition but once I was put in my present treat plan and was struggling with side effects another patient suggested I joined the Sunshine Group.

I contacted Ann Coffey and was welcomed into the Facebook group and offered ongoing support for me and my family. I was then invited to the Retreat and offered massages, Reflexology and Reiki to help with my side effects.

The volunteers offer therapies which are so necessary to make my adjuvant treatment a little bit more bearable and give me considerable relief from the aches, pains and swellings. It is a comfortable environment which allows me to talk about everything and anything. Everyone who volunteers has first-hand experience and knowledge of breast cancer and their advice is invaluable. It’s also refreshing to go somewhere where often the discussion is about anything other than cancer.

The activities organised by the group are an opportunity to get to know others better but also to allow family members to meet, talk and realise that they aren’t alone either. The Sunshine Group support goes beyond the patient and encompasses everyone affected by a cancer diagnosis; the patient, spouse, children and friends. It provides through the Facebook page a safe space to ask questions, share information all brought together by the dedicated volunteer team that runs and organise it.

Leanne's Story

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 just two months after losing my dad to melanoma. It’s a day I will never forget, just hearing those words “We’re sorry, it’s cancer” – no one can describe the emotion and impact that has on a person.”

In that second my first thought was for my children; would I even be around to see them grow up? I went from being a working mum with huge career aspirations to a cancer patient with so many unknowns ahead of me. All I could think was ‘why me’? I felt completely lost, like the world was crumbling around me and I didn’t know where to turn.   

I was so upset and angry that we had been through so much with my dad and now I was I was in the firing line too. My family and I found it very difficult to deal with the diagnosis and even though I am a strong person, I felt so broken inside. 

During one of my many hospital appointments I was referred to the Sunshine Group.  Despite my initial reservations and my ongoing attempt to pick up the phone and call, I finally find the courage to ring Ann from the Sunshine Group. 

Ann was the first person that understood how I was actually feeling.  From the shock, to being scared, Ann and the other volunteers had been through it and really put me at ease. They answered so many questions for me! They supported me all the way through with open arms (and ears!), they delivered therapies after my mastectomy and the group even provided me with post operative aids like a bra and mastectomy pillow.  

5 years on, I can’t thank the Sunshine Group enough.  The work they do is invaluable and helped me deal supporting me through my diagnosis, and really helped me to look towards my future”.