Charity launched to provide vital mental health support to cancer patients

Mind Over Cancer founder Susie Shaw from Meldreth with ex cancer patient Luke Bordoli-Marsh and his wife Ella

Mind Over Cancer founder Susie Shaw from Meldreth (right) with ex cancer patient Luke Bordoli-Marsh and his wife Ella - Credit: Mind Over Cancer

A Meldreth woman has launched a charity to help current and former cancer patients who were diagnosed under the age of 29.

Mind Over Cancer supports patients across Cambridgeshire and East Anglia, and has unveiled a £50,000 fundraising target to help deliver this support.

Susie Shaw, the charity's founder and chief executive, said: "The NHS does a brilliant job treating cancer patients but is under-resourced, with immense demand and pressure placed on them, which has only been exacerbated due to the pandemic.

"Mind Over Cancer has been set up to bridge the gap, providing immediate mental health support through our counselling and mental health and wellbeing support programme.

“A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, not just for the person who has to face it but also for their family and friends who are there through the highs and lows.

"This trauma can stay through life, affecting all areas of their personal and working life, and we are here to provide a safe space and additional emotional support.”

The charity enables anyone who was diagnosed from a baby to 29 years old to access 10 free counselling sessions and the mental health and wellbeing support programme for one year.

Luke and Ella Bordoli-Marsh, both 29, feel they could have benefitted from the charity had it existed when Luke was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2009 at the age of 17.

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Luke said: “My treatment finished in 2010 and I went to university but there were moments there where I would remember what I had gone through and how I never really gave myself a break from when treatment finished.

"Those times were upsetting and overwhelming for me. Around two years later I received a short period of counselling for what I went through, but even that felt rushed and not greatly beneficial.

"I wish I had access to psychological support at a time when I needed it. You’ll never know when you need it, it could be later after treatment and that’s why Mind Over Cancer is so important, providing experienced support and advice whenever required.”

Mind Over Cancer is calling for donations to help reach its fundraising target, and is also looking for volunteers.

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