Cancer sufferers miss out on support

CANCER sufferers in the Stowmarket area could be missing out on vital support, organisers claim.The Stowmarket and District Cancer support group has been in existence for around 16 years but recently membership is dropping.

CANCER sufferers in the Stowmarket area could be missing out on vital support, organisers claim.

The Stowmarket and District Cancer support group has been in existence for around 16 years but recently membership is dropping.

Co-ordinator Ivy Wadsley, now just wants to let people know that they are there and can offer whatever help and support might be needed.

The group even has a caravan in Felixstowe offering a few nights away free of charge for people with cancer, but this year only one booking has been made.

Mrs Wadsley said: "We have had it for around ten years but will have to think about replacing it in the next couple of years.

"But we don't want to do that if it is not going to be used."

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She believes that now taboos about cancer are not as bad, many people turn to friends and family and Macmillan nurses for support.

But Mrs Wadsley said the support group still has a lot to offer people.

She said: "We provide a sitting service which we take in turns with Marie Curie nurses.

"And if people are in serious (financial) trouble we can give out small grants.

"Sometimes when diagnosed people have to leave work suddenly we can help them pay off electricity bills for example."

The group, which meets monthly, was set up by Betty Stevens whose 23-year-old daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mrs Wadsley said: "They both felt shunned by society and people did not want to talk to them.

"She used to open the door to the postman just to have someone to talk to.

"Her daughter said that she knew she was going to die but it would be nice if they could do something for others."

Today most people tell their families that they have cancer but a few years ago, the support group had many members who kept their condition to themselves.

Mrs Wadley said: "We are very important to the people we help.

"When we visit people or they want to meet us we keep it very professional and is absolutely confidential."

For further information on the group call Mrs Wadsley on 01449 613129.

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