Northampton Breast Friends’ pioneering project to help women living with incurable cancer

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Charity Breast Friends Northampton (BFN) has received a support grant from Macmillan Cancer Support to deliver a pioneering project.

Macmillan Cancer Support have granted £12,740 to deliver the ‘Living With Living Well’ (LWLW) pilot well-being programme.

The project will support for women living with incurable secondary breast cancer (SBC) in Northamptonshire.

LWLW will use the funding to deliver eight well-being programmes over a 12-month period, to shape future services for women with secondary breast cancer.

The support grant, which is the largest given by Macmillan in the area, aims to directly benefit over 70 women living with SBC and their relatives, by improving their quality of life and building a community where they can get support and share their experiences.

Jo Meftah and Leanne Byrne are both living with secondary breast cancer and have joined the LWLW programme this year.

Secondary breast cancer happens when cancer cells spread from the breast to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, brain, lung, or liver.

It is usually treatable, but not curable and some women might experience a range of side-effects from living with secondary breast cancer and its treatment.

Jo, 53, from Northampton was diagnosed with SBC in 2012, she said: “When I was diagnosed, each day in my mind was a step closer to death, six years later, with nine grandchildren, four born after diagnosis, I’m still very much here.

“I’m so very thankful for every minute but it is not easy living under this cloud, there have been some very dark days.

“LWLW is such a vital support which has long been missing now, ladies like myself will be given the opportunity not just to live with cancer but to live well with it and thrive by getting a much fuller support network, not only medically but physically and mindfully.”

Leanne 31, from Wellingborough was diagnosed with SBC in 2017, said: It was a huge shock knowing that the cancer would never go away but you can live with cancer, and continue to do the things that you want to do.

“LWLW will enable us all to believe in ourselves again, and to reclaim, improve and maintain our wellbeing.”

Contact the group by emailing hello@livingwithlivingwell.co.uk or visit LivingwithSBC.