Cancer Focus NI was a real lifeline

14 December 2018

Cancer Focus NI was a real lifeline

Breast cancer survivor Kathy Farrell, from Belfast, has used the Cancer Focus NI Writing My Cancer Journey service - and said it was a real lifeline for her.

The mum of three was diagnosed five years ago and has gone through seven operations including a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction and a hysterectomy, as well as having chemotherapy.


Her long-term health has been affected in other ways too – she has nerve damage, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.


Research has shown that writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events can help both your physical and psychological health. So Kathy thought she would give it a try.


“I had been suffering from depression and anxiety – I was seeing a Cancer Focus NI counsellor and she thought the writing group might help me. I love it because I found that writing things down helped process what I’d been through and helped me work through my own experience.


“When you’re in a group with other people you realise that there are others worse off than you and you’re not the only one having a bad time, and sometimes you can help them with bit of advice, which gives you a good feeling,” she said.


“There’s no pressure to share your experiences – it’s all very confidential - but once people feel comfortable in the group they often open up and talk about what they’re going through. The feedback from the sessions is really beneficial too.


“My group was fantastic. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone and I’m so grateful to Cancer Focus NI for providing this invaluable service. I’ve been through a rough time and it has helped enormously.


“I’d urge everyone to sign up and run in the marathon, relay or fun run for Cancer Focus NI and help them help other people at a scary, worrying time in their lives.” 


You can #runforyourlife and support Cancer Focus NI by selecting them when registering for the 2019 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.  Already signed up and would like to start fundraising for them?  Simply email or call 028 9068 0771 to request your free fundraising pack.


Entries are NOW OPEN at via the brand new MyTicket App.  The current rate is the available until 28th February with a final entry deadline of 12th April 2019.