Paul on visiting an information and support centre

Paul looks at a Macmillan brochure with support officer, Mario.
Paul looks at a Macmillan brochure with support officer, Mario.

When Paul visited his local Macmillan information and support centre, he met Mario, a Macmillan support officer. Paul found he could relate to Mario,

as he’d been through cancer himself, and offered Paul a variety of support options.

Paul's story

That’s where I met Mario. He opened my eyes to what Macmillan could do and all the things that were available. And he immediately put me in contact with someone more local to me. The thing about Mario that impressed me first of all was that he was a survivor himself. And so I thought, well, this bloke must know what he’s talking about, so he’s worth listening to. And he just knew what to do immediately. His whole demeanour was spot on. 

Mario had so much experience that he was immediately able to click on to the sorts of things I might need or might be interested in. And I didn’t feel under any pressure at all to accept anything he suggested or to go with anything he offered. He clicked on to the fact that I don’t talk fluffy cushion. I want to talk straight. I just want the facts. The fact we were both from Yorkshire – that’s the sort of character we are. Mario recommended talking to a local nurse, emotional help, and financial help. If it weren’t for Macmillan, we’d have been in a lot of trouble financially. We may have even lost this house.

I’ve never claimed anything in my life. Ever. I don’t think I’d know how to. But then there’s the reality. You’ve got cancer and this is part of the fight. You have to be financially secure in order to fight it properly and Macmillan could help me with that. 

The reality was that we were getting towards the end of our mortgage and it had been a long, long time, and we were a bit financially strapped to be honest. We were not doing at all well. Macmillan literally allowed us to keep our car on the road. Here in Ashby, we’re a bit rural, so a car’s essential for us to get about – it’s our lifeline. Macmillan helped us twice to keep the car, really just covering the MOT was all it needed. That really was a life saver. Mario knew exactly where to send us and the people at the other end knew exactly what to do. So it really seemed that they were an organisation that communicated with each other – rare in this day and age. It was very reassuring. He gave me that feeling – it can be done. It became clear fairly early on that Macmillan is an organisation you can dip into as and when you need to. You don’t have to commit to anything.