Gary says, ‘When I was first diagnosed, I sat there nodding my head, as if I was taking it all in, but all I could hear was “cancer, cancer, cancer.” It wasn’t until I left the consultant’s room that the enormity of it hit me.
‘Patricia was also in the room and we sat down afterwards to talk – she’s been there for me ever since. If I have any questions about my treatment or feel a bit alone, I know I can get in touch with her.’
Gary adds, ‘Money worries have been a particularly big concern. However, a Macmillan benefits adviser visited me when I was having chemo and helped me claim the benefits I was entitled to. Receiving that support at a very difficult time took away a lot of stress.’
To give something back, Gary has since helped Macmillan lobby the Northern Ireland Assembly as a Cancer Voice. He says, ‘Macmillan has been like a safety net for me and it’s one way I can return the support.’
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