Friday 21 Jan 2022
I remember those early conversations with Bryn, the Centre Head at Maggie's Royal Marsden: “Where are people my age? Where are the other black people going through treatment?” The centre put me in contact with three others, and we are still friends today.
I’m Eloise, and I’ve been visiting Maggie’s for a few years now.
I believe that Maggie’s centres should be open and accessible to everyone, regardless of age, background or culture, and that people that come through the doors of the centres should have a say in shaping the services that they access.
Maggie’s allowed me to connect with other people my age that were going through a similar experience to me.
We used our local centre to hang out, drink tea and have girlie chats, finding a sense of normality in such an alien situation.
We knew that we could be our authentic selves in our local centre, whether we needed to laugh, cry or just needed some time to reflect alone.
The centre provided a space for my family and friends to have some down time as well, to ask questions and to be taken care of.
The impact for us was that our anxieties were contained and held in mind by the people working at our centre.
In my studies and work, I am interested in learning more about how younger women of colour with a diagnosis of cancer navigate their cancer journey, what services are available and what services can do to better meet the needs of groups that are sometimes overlooked.
Maybe people are thought to be ‘too young’ to have cancer, or they are perceived as not needing as much support as others.
To people who are anxious about accessing a centre and are struggling to find the right support, I would encourage you to pop into your local Maggie’s for a cuppa and a bit of cake.
Staff at the centres just get it. They understand what you’re experiencing, and they will do their best to support you in a way that feels right for you.
They are invested in your unique experience; they can give you advice or just provide a listening ear when you need it.
You’ll be adopted into the Maggie’s family, and I can guarantee that they will be there to support you no matter what part of your cancer journey you’re on.
If you or someone you love has cancer, Maggie's is with you.
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