Bosom Buddies offers help to breast cancer survivors at Nuffield Health in Cambridge
Survivors of breast cancer in and around Cambridge are being offered a new express route to get their lives back.
Sheila Kissane-Marshall – who was herself diagnosed with breast cancer – has used her own experiences to launch a physical and emotional rehabilitation programme to help sufferers overcome the debilitating effects of treatment.
“After my surgery, and chemo and radiotherapy, I was left traumatised, demoralised, and unable to walk more than a few metres, in just the same way many thousands of others are,” Sheila, who has two young children, explained.
“But by doing a little exercise a day, building up my fitness and eating well, I’m now living a normal and very active life, full of work and family, just like I did before my diagnosis.’
Bosom Buddies organises tailored fitness and advice sessions to help breast cancer survivors regain their strength.
Founded by Sheila, the group also holds walks through the Grantchester Meadows for women who have suffered breast cancer to share their experiences and support each other.
The course has been designed in partnership with Nuffield Health, which has offered the use of its fitness suite in Cambridge to help with survivors’ rehabilitation.
The 12-week programme is tailored for each individual, allowing them to regain strength and a range of movement at their own pace.
Advice on a healthy diet, which researchers have found can contribute significantly to a good recovery, is also offered.
Sheila said: “I know exactly what it feels like when your worst fears are confirmed and you hear that awful diagnosis of breast cancer.
“But I also know it can be beaten, and you can get back to the life you had before.
“If I can use my experience to help just one woman, that will be worthwhile enough.
“But I’m hoping to be able to help hundreds.”
Sheila hopes that if the programme is a success, it can be rolled out to other Nuffield sites across the country.
The programme begins on February 27, and runs for 12 weeks, with a heavily subsidised price of £36 to enable it to be self-financing. Supported places for those with limited means are also available.
Anyone interested in enrolling should email Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org.