Billy's story

Billy was diagnosed with colon cancer just weeks after losing his wife of 39 years to lung cancer. With no other family around to support him, Billy had to face going through cancer treatment alone while still grieving for his wife, and consequently became very isolated and sank into depression.

He visited his local Macmillan Information and Support Centre where the team was able to offer him the support he so desperately needed. As well as giving him emotional support and putting him in touch with a befriending service, they also contacted Macmillan Physical Activity Practitioner Fiona Roche who introduced him to the Macmillan ‘Get Active, Feel Good Lincolnshire’ service.

The path to being more active

Fiona visited Billy at home and talked to him about how physical activity could help. She took him to an over 60s exercise class held weekly in a village hall close to where he lived, which involves doing gentle exercises.

Billy said, ‘When my wife died I felt very lonely. We did everything together you see, she was my best friend. We didn’t need anyone else, we liked each other’s company. So to be told I had cancer so soon after losing Diane has been very hard. I haven’t even had time to grieve. Macmillan has been really good. Going to the class has really lifted me up, I’m a lot happier in myself, as I’ve got something to do. It gets me out of the house. I’m noticing an improvement already.’

By encouraging physical activity we’re helping people like Billy feel better, not just physically, but emotionally too. We’re also providing them with a sense of achievement through the barriers they overcome and opening up new avenues through the new people they meet.

Read our free advice on ways to get more active >