'Maggie's' means something belonging to Maggie.
And many people have found just that - a sense of belonging in the warmth and support they have received in Maggie's centres across the UK, on the days in their life where they have never needed it more. In this post, we find out about Maggie's, its vital work with people living with cancer, how you can help support the charity...and some fun facts about our friends Anna and Wayne at Maggie's Cheltenham along the way.
When Maggie's founder, Maggie Keswick Jencks was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47, and was told it had returned in May 1993, she was moved to a windowless corridor with her husband Charles, where they were left to process the news. They discussed the need for somewhere 'better' for people with cancer to go, outside of but nearby to the hospital
Maggie and Charles designed the blueprint for the centres together, enlisting the help of some of their friends from the architectural world, ensuring that the centres would be a beautiful, inspiring place to visit. Sadly Maggie died before she could see the Edinburgh centre open in 1996, but now there are 25 centres, some overseas, with a further 8 in the pipeline.
What Maggie realised was that when people are diagnosed with cancer they need much more than just medical treatment. They may need information about how treatment will affect them; emotional support and practical advice; and above all, a place to go where they can meet and talk to people who are going through the same things. That is why central to every Maggie's centre is the kitchen table: a place to gather, chat and talk. The teams at Maggie's Centres are there for anyone with cancer and their family and friends, whatever kind of cancer, and whatever stage they’re at. Their support is free, and no appointment or referral is needed. There’s also no time limit on their support, they're there for as long as they're needed. They are not part of the NNS, and as such, they rely on fundraising to support their critical work.
We are proud to work with Maggie's, and today, we can introduce Anna and Wayne, our friends from Maggie's Cheltenham.
Anna has been with Maggie's since 2012. Following the diagnosis of a friend, she witnessed first hand the support and help Maggie's provides to people living with cancer. Initially Anna fundraised for the charity, then became a volunteer and now she is the Centre Fundraising Manager, working with the amazing Wayne Russell (amazing? - Wayne ran round the coastline of Britain, unsupported, from September 2015 to July 2016, raising huge funds for the Superhero Foundation, and in memory of his sister, Carmel), the Centre Fundraising Organiser.
Anna now lives and breathes Maggie's, and she finds the opportunity to work with a team supporting people who are going through life changing events, completely inspiring and fulfilling. 'Seeing the support that we can deliver, and how people can come together to support each other, is just amazing. Whether it is helping people struggling with the financial impact cancer can have, or helping a friend who doesn't know how to help their recently diagnosed friend, just knowing that we can be there for people, to support when they need it most, is vital'.
Maggie's needs your help to continue its work, now more than ever. As Wayne explains, 'With £38 means an individual, couple or family can have a one hour support session with a Psychologist, helping them address a complex range of issues. £282 provides cancer support sessions for up to 20 people to help people understand their diagnosis, treatment and life with cancer. £1940 covers the weekly cost of running our online community for anyone with, or worried, about cancer to feel connected and supported online'. With this in mind, Maggie's welcomes new and exciting ways for supporters to raise funds. This is where Tribal Tracks comes in!
Wayne explains 'As a lover of the outdoors myself, and even having had a few adventures along the way, we felt that the time was right for Maggie's to offer overseas fundraising adventures for its supporters. We're working with Tribal Tracks on an amazing 100km Sahara Challenge taking place in November 2020. The response has been overwhelming, and people really want to have an adventure, meet like-minded supporters, enjoy a walk and a chat with them, all while raising vital funds for us'.
If you want to support Maggie's, we still have 4 places left on this trip. Go to www.tribaltracks.co.uk/maggies for more information and to sign up.
Next week...all about 40tude Curing Colon Cancer - a groundbreaking charity taking a unique approach to finding the cure for colon cancer.