When Della was told she had breast cancer, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. ‘I was thinking, “maybe they got it wrong”.’ But her Macmillan nurse Charmaine was there to support her.
‘I didn’t know anything about cancer and in my head I was just thinking about my holiday. I said, ‘Look, can we just hurry up with this.’ I was more concerned about my trip to Nigeria than cancer.’
‘Then when I started my chemo I lost my hair and everything just went. I went through a stage where I thought, “God, what if I die?” I just wanted out. To not go in for the next chemo.’
‘It was Charmaine, my Macmillan nurse, who was there for me.’
Watch Della’s story from diagnosis to moving forward and living beyond cancer with Charmaine’s support.
‘She became my best friend. Because normally, in my culture, there’s no support. My friends and family didn’t want to talk about it. But Charmaine gave me her phone number and if there was anything I needed to know, I asked her.
‘She also encouraged me to join a support group. There aren’t any in Nigeria so it’s not something I’m used to. But after I’d had a taste of one, I wanted to start a support group for Africans.
‘So I got a grant from Macmillan to start my own. I want people to know there is life after cancer. It’s like having cancer was a wake-up call. I’m now doing a massage course. I even go running. But without Macmillan I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I would have just stayed in my little shell.’
If we are all Macmillan, no one should face cancer alone
Our ‘Not Alone’ campaign was launched to make sure we could be there for everyone, just like we were there for Della. You may even have seen Charmaine in our new ads around the country.
It’s a big goal. Two million people are currently living with or beyond cancer and that number is set to rise to four million by 2030. But with the dedication of our team – and inspiring supporters like you – we can, and will, be there for everyone – whether it’s people living with cancer, carers or family and friends who need support.
That’s why now, more than ever, we need to be there for everyone affected by cancer.
To find out how Macmillan can give you a grant to set up a support group, visit our cancer support group pages.
To support our work so that we can fund more nurses like Charmaine, text the word TOGETHER10 to 70550 to donate £5*.
*Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Macmillan will receive 95p of every £1 donated in this way. Obtain bill payer’s permission first.