In late 2018, I first heard about the Cancer Champion Programme from Colette Dixon, part of the Living With and Beyond Cancer Team at St Andrews Hospice, Grimsby.
I decided to sign up for the training so I could meet fellow cancer patients, talk about cancer, and gain a deeper understanding of other cancers which were different to my own.
The session, which was held at St Andrew’s Hospice, was split over a duration of weeks. This made it more suitable for the participants, all of whom had had a cancer diagnosis, with some undergoing treatment at the time. Fatigue is a symptom that’s commonly associated with cancer treatment, so the short spells of training were conducive – participants were able to attend without the session becoming too demanding.
”While my understanding of the type of cancer I had increased with my diagnosis, the Cancer Champion Awareness Session enabled me to become more familiar with other cancers, as well as their associated warning signs.SarahCancer Champion
Since then, friends and friends of friends have contacted me about my journey with cancer. I’ve been able to use my training to discuss early warning signs while empowering and signposting them to seek further advice from medical professionals.
I think it’s important to be aware of cancer because, as with most things, knowledge is key. If cancer is detected early, people may have a better prognosis. Prior to my diagnosis of leukaemia, I would never have thought I had cancer. Retrospectively speaking, however, the warning signs were there throughout the weeks preceding my diagnosis. Those early symptoms can be so easily dismissed. As such, awareness of cancer, in general, is imperative, as it can help save lives.
To me, being a Cancer Champion means being part of a collective. The training gave me the confidence to talk about cancer more with other people, and I’ve since furthered my involvement with cancer-related foundations. I’m thrilled to be an advocate involved in the development of new scientific medical initiatives for cancer treatments.
I’d recommend everyone take part in a Cancer Champion Awareness Session to gain an understanding of a disease that affects so many people today. In the future, that understanding could help not only the participant, but also their friends, family, and loved ones.
To find out more about the Cancer Champion Programme, please click here.