Like many people, Emma wanted to go to a support group after she was diagnosed with cancer. But unfortunately, there wasn’t one in London for deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing people. So with the help of Raj, a Macmillan Involvement Coordinator, she set one up.
Emma tells us, ‘Two months after a cyst was removed from my ovary for a biopsy, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Because I have Usher syndrome, meaning I’m profoundly deaf and have a degenerative eye condition, I took along an interpreter to get my results. No words can describe how I felt when I was told it was cancer.
‘Despite having great support from friends and family, I felt isolated. I needed to talk to someone in sign language – my natural language. I knew there was a gap in support for people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing, which is why I contacted our wonderful coordinator, Raj.’
‘Raj has been a fantastic help in setting up a support group. Everyone involved in the group relates to each other because of our communication difficulties and challenges accessing services. We’re able to share information, learn from our experiences and offer support to one another.
‘Now, two years after my diagnosis, I’m back at work having taken a total of 10 months off. I work at the charity Sense and my boss has been absolutely brilliant, arranging for things like a phased return. I’m just starting to feel more energetic and finally the true Emma is emerging.’