Deanne on benefits and financial support

Deanne standing on the steps of her house with her children.
Deanne standing on the steps of her house with her children.

After treatment for throat cancer, Deanne found herself too unwell to work, which had a huge financial impact. Deanne could no longer afford her mortgage so had to move out of the family home and into council accommodation. Her experience with the welfare system was stressful and overcomplicated but Macmillan helped her with this.

Deanne's story

Financially things were really hard and I got very frustrated with the process. I felt like I wasn't treated as a cancer patient. I was just treated as a number or a statistic. I felt like they just didn't care about the fact that I was in a long-term illness. 

I lived in a mortgaged property, which had been a family home for 19 years. Then I realised that I had to think about what to do, because I couldn't work and everything was just too expensive. Things just got worse and worse. I was trying to deal with the fact that I had cancer at the same time as worrying about losing my home. The stress and the poverty literally consume you. Sadly, we had to move due to the effect on my finances. A house is a home and so it was a horrible experience. These material things also have an emotional importance. I had to just uproot the kids and move them.

As a cancer patient, I found the bureaucracy of the benefit system made things difficult and I'm still struggling with it. Macmillan gave me advice and support, but it has not been easy and I am still struggling with it. We are getting by now, but it is still incredibly difficult. It's overwhelming when you are struggling to cope with your health and the emotional journey of cancer. It has had a massive effect and it is very hard. Cancer patients should be treated as individuals so that you don't feel like you're just a statistic.

Close-up of Deanne seated.

Watch: all about Deanne's experiences

Watch: all about Deanne's experiences