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Helping Couples Deal With Cancer

Player-supported charity Maggie's have launched relationship workshops to help those dealing with cancer

Thanks to our players, charity Maggie's have launched five new standalone workshops to help people navigate their closest relationships when dealing with cancer.

Maggie's visitors Michelle and James got married in July and say it's unlikely their nuptials would have happened without support from the charity.

Michelle, from Rutherglen, near Glasgow, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. The diagnosis and treatment had a big impact on their relationship. They both feel it was support from Maggie's which got their relationship back on track.

James explained, "We'd been together for four years prior to Michelle's diagnosis and we'd been through a lot during Michelle's treatment and physical recovery.

"But it was actually a few months past her treatment that Michelle shut down with regards to talking about her feelings, she was starting to keep it all in and I didn't know what to say to her either.

"We were both going through a rocky patch. That's when I arranged to have a few sessions at Maggie's, where Michelle was already being supported.

"The Cancer Support Specialist talked things through with me and I felt so much better because there were things left unsaid to Michelle and worries I had that I didn't want to speak to her about.

"I believe it was through that help at Maggie's that Michelle and myself were able to get our relationship back on track again."

Michelle added, "I don't know where we would have been without Maggie's, and I feel so thankful for the support of players of People's Postcode Lottery as I know their generosity means Maggie's can continue to help many more people like myself and James."

The new evidence-based workshops have been developed on the back of research Maggie's conducted earlier this year. This revealed that two-thirds of people living with cancer, either themselves or with a partner with cancer, believe that the diagnosis and subsequent treatment has had an impact on their relationships.

The five new relationship workshops themes are:

  • Relationships when life is full of uncertainty,
  • Relationships when your body has changed,
  • Supporting and talking with children,
  • Talking with your medical and nursing teams, and
  • Starting a new relationship.

Lesley Howells, Maggie's Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Research Lead, said, "Our Relationships workshops are an incredibly important addition to our core evidence-based programme of support and I would like to thank players of People's Postcode Lottery for making it happen.

"Relationships play such an important role in our lives and all relationships - be it with your children, a significant other or with yourself - are hugely impacted by a cancer diagnosis, so to be able to access substantial psychological support to navigate the issues that arise will make a tremendous difference to those trying to live as best a life as they can with cancer."

Maggie's have received over £11.9 Million from our players. This has ensured the charity has been able to support thousands of people with cancer, as well as family and friends, at their network of 20 support centres across the UK.

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "Helping people living with cancer to nurture their closest relationships through workshops is a great initiative and the more people who can benefit from the expertise of the team at Maggie's Centres the better.

"It's through the charity's own long-term relationship with players of People's Postcode Lottery that has allowed Maggie's, over the past ten years, to help thousands of people with cancer and that's a friendship worth celebrating."

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Michelle and James said it was unlikely their nuptials would have happened without Maggie's support
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