Jenny and Lesley talk about the cost of living and living with cancer

Published: 09 November 2022

Jenny and Lesley share how getting the right financial support can make such a difference when you are living with cancer.

Meet Jenny

Jenny had a call with a Macmillan Welfare Benefits Adviser following her breast cancer diagnosis. Here she shares how this support helped her to apply for extra financial support. This helped her to cover the cost of wigs and support bras to help her feel more like herself.

“I don’t think any other charity could have helped me as much as Macmillan has.”


A lady with long pink hair wearing a black jumper and wearing jeans.

Macmillan were just there to support me - physically, emotionally and financially. This is especially important with cancer as it affects everyone around you, not just you as an individual.

If I hadn’t had been told about Macmillan Grants, I would have struggled. Especially because everything happened so quickly.

I don’t like to take any money that I’m not entitled to and am quite mindful of what I spend, but there was no time to budget for the additional expenses of cancer, like buying wigs and new clothes. 

“I had no idea about PIP or how to apply for it”

When I found out about Macmillan Grants I just wanted to cry. How do you say thank you to someone who’s done that for you?

My adviser spent 2 to 3 hours on the phone whilst I gave her the information she needed for my PIP and grant application. She just thought of everything, and I knew if there was ever a problem, she would help me sort it out.

She asked if I needed her to speak to my housing adviser and explained how I could apply to get three months of rent paid. She has been an angel.

Meet Lesley

Diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2021. Macmillan helped Lesley access benefits and arranged a reduction in her energy bills after cancer treatment left her unable to work.

"I felt like I was going round in circles with Universal Credit.”

A lady with short red hair and wearing a black top.


My Macmillan adviser was the first human being I managed to speak to on the phone about my claim, and the only reason I knew about her was because my Macmillan nurse at Addenbrooke’s had put us in touch.

I would read the Universal Credit forms and I was not able to understand what they were saying, due to the impact of my treatment.

I felt so stupid at times. I would usually always be the one sorting our affairs and suddenly I couldn’t physically, mentally do it.

When I found out from my Macmillan adviser that I could pay the rent in full and that most of my bills would be covered I just sat there and cried and sent her a message to say thank-you.

We are here for you

Cancer comes with many hidden costs. But Macmillan is here to support you. You may find these resources helpful:

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