Here are two examples of how we have supported cancer patients - making a difference to their health and wellbeing.
"Cancer can set you apart from your friends, your family, your colleagues at work – I didn’t want that – especially at 32. And keeping my hair was so vitally important for my mental health and wellbeing, during treatment.”
In October 2019 Claire, a young mum of two small children began treatment for stage 3 breast cancer and during the following 10 months of aggressive treatment Claire was offered the opportunity to use one of the Trusts Paxman Scalp Coolers.
Claire said “I used to have really long blonde hair, but after my diagnosis I had my hair cut in to a bob. At one stage I even suggested shaving it off as I knew what I was going to be faced with – total hair loss.
However, I was offered the opportunity to try using the Paxman Scalp Cooler whilst receiving my treatment, and remarkably I barely lost any hair at all. 8 months, 8 rounds of chemotherapy and I kept my blond bob!
I was the first person to have cancer in my family, and my diagnosis was a complete shock, a bolt out of the blue. However the team at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, every doctor, nurse, consultant, surgeon, domestic, porter – everyone, the whole team were incredible. They were exactly what I needed them to be for me, caring, supportive, and human. To care for me, listen to me, look after me, challenge me and support me. I cannot speak highly enough of everyone.
Providing wigs for cancer patients
“I used to have long hair before I started to lose it all when receiving treatment for cancer. My self-esteem and confidence were non-existent after being diagnosed with cancer and unfortunately losing all of my hair affected me mentally and emotionally.
However, thank you to the team in the cancer centre at Calderdale Royal Hospital and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Charity I was provided with a high quality wig, which was truly amazing. The level of service was outstanding and all of my needs were looked after and I received a wig that that was so much like my original style and colour. The quality is outstanding.”
“I really hope for other women and men that this service makes such a difference too, as you are giving people with cancer a chance to still feel as normal as possible, supporting patients’ health and wellbeing while going through treatment and after treatment.” Tracey Thackery, patient
Helen Jones, Macmillan Information Centre Manager, at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said “It makes me feel really proud that the Charity see funding wigs for cancer patients as a priority, I get to see first-hand the difference a high quality wig makes to a patient, in helping increase the patient’s confidence, body image and wellbeing. Thank you to everyone for their continued support in helping to make a difference.”
Mens Cancer Support Group
Two of our Macmillan Information Service Volunteers, John and Geoff decided that they wanted to support men who have cancer by hosting a Men's Cancer Support Group. This group will be an informal face-to-face group for all men to come together and share concerns about cancer in a safe, confidential space. This group will be held once a month with different topics. CHFT Charity wanted to support this, so we took it upon ourselves to contact certain venues in the local area. The John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield kindly donated us a room for free. CHFT Charity wanted people who attended to feel comfortable and welcomed, so we organised refreshments.
This first group was held on Thursday 29th September at the Legends Cafe in the John Smith's Stadium. The group was a huge success which may require ore seating in the future if they continue to grow. The first group topic was about Trevor Simpson's Cancer story, musical history and experience as a referee at John Smith's Stadium.
We received some brilliant feedback from some men who attended the first group:
"It has been a very welcoming and relaxed atmosphere where everyone could just be themselves. The venue has been fantastic - easy to find and good parking. I will look forward to coming again."
"I wasn't sure what to expect today and have been feeling a bit down lately due to my cancer but I have really enjoyed the group. It's been good to meet other men in a similar situation and I feel that the group has really picked me up"
We would like to say a massive thank you to the John Smith's Stadium for alowing us to use their space, the group were very welcomed and felt very secure within this space.
This group will continue throughout 2023.