This months feature has kindly been provided by Sue
Meader of The Young Ones, a group which meets in Bury St Edmunds. The article explains how the group was founded and where and when it meets.
If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the group direct.
Over the coming months I am hoping to feature other
Young Womenís Support Groups if you are involved in such a group and would like it featuring on this web site please contact me with the relevant details.
HOW THE YOUNG ONES CAME ABOUT:
Young Ones was founded in October 2000 by Rachel Farrant, 43, of Haverhill in Suffolk. Rachel was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of the disease in 1999. She formed the group whilst in
remission, and was an inspiration to all who knew her. Her infectious laugh and wonderful sense of humour were the mainstay of the group, and she was a tremendous support to all the women in it, and their families.
The disease returned in December 2000, shortly after the group began. Rach received further treatment, and maintained her support to the other women, and retained her wicked sense of humour throughout, but
very sadly died on May 25th 2001.
The group miss Rachel terribly, but continue the vital work she started. We are fundraising to have a rose named after her, and when the new breast care unit is built at
West Suffolk hospital, hope to have a bed of these vibrant yellow roses there as a permanent tribute to her. We also fundraise to support various cancer support and research charities.
THE YOUNG ONES:
Was founded specifically to support the younger women suffering from, or surviving breast cancer, although no-one is excluded due to age, location, (or sex!) Anyone needing support, information or a chat, is
Meet on the last Wednesday of every month in the Moreton hall Community Centre, Bury St Edmunds, at 7.30pm.
Membership is free, although a small donation is welcomed to cover the cost of
Meet informally, to chat about the issues having breast cancer raises: worries about children, finances, treatment programmes , hair loss, emotional relationships and many, many more. Members
may chat in groups, or one to one in confidence.
Carry a large library of leaflets, books and information, on coping with breast cancer, treatments , surgery, secondary cancer, emotions and relationships,
talking to children about cancer; benefits patients may be entitled to and insurance implications, and many others.
Telephone support is also given, and home visits are made where possible.
events are arranged, and we have occasional guest speakers from major charities and other helpful organisations.
Have a lot of fun!!!! There is a lot to laugh about, even when you have cancer, and humour
really is the BEST medicine!
OUR AIMS ARE:
To provide support to anyone needing it.
To work in conjunction with other support groups and charities to raise awareness of breast cancer
in all ages, and ensure women and their partners know how to check for the symptoms of breast cancer.
To support ward G1, the oncology ward at West Suffolk Hospital, various breast care charities, and the
proposed new breast care unit.
SOME INFORMATION ABOUT MEMBERS OF THE YOUNG ONES:
Polly was only 29 and a few weeks pregnant when diagnosed five years ago, and travelled
to the Royal Marsden in London daily for treatment. During her pregnancy, she was given both a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Her daughter Jessica was born naturally and is now sister to Anna, born in 2000! Her
remarkable story was covered by national and international press. Polly is fit and well, and a great inspiration to the group.
Polly 's story gave huge hope to Sue when she was
diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, whilst 7 1/2 months pregnant. Less than a week later, her son Matthew was delivered by caesarian section. Sue returned to her job as deputy manager whilst receiving her
treatment, and her chemotherapy and radiotherapy ended on January 7th 1998, a year to the day from her first antenatal scan. She is thriving, as is her son Matthew, who celebrates his 5th birthday on 26th June2002.
Carrie came to her first meeting in April 2001 looking very fetching in white surgical stockings, having had her mastectomy only days previously! She returned to work whilst
receiving her chemotherapy, and has a wonderful sense of humour and determination. Carrie's chemotherapy ended on October 26th 2001.
Dawn was 32 and was diagnosed in 1999 with an
aggressive, grade 3 tumour. She had a full mastectomy followed by 3 months of chemotherapy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy. At the time, Dawn's children were aged only 8 and 6. Dawn says her friends and family were
a great source of strength to her. She is an active member of the group, as well as working full-time, and her willingness to share her experiences and her sense of humour is now giving strength to others.
Elaine was also diagnosed in 1999. She had 7 months of chemotherapy, followed by 15 sessions of radiotherapy. Her cancer was oestrogen positive, and she now takes Tamoxifen. Elaine, now
fit and well, says the wonderful support from the breast care team, her family and friends helped her through her diagnosis and treatment. Elaine has been instrumental in organising several items for a raffle for
Now 43, Kate was diagnosed in May 1998 when her daughter was less than a year old. She had a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy . Her children are now 5
and 8. Kate travels a long distance to meetings to enjoy the group support and chats.
Diagnosed in July 2000, aged 42, Trish then had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy,
finishing her treatment in June 2001. She also has young children, aged 9 and 10. The support from her friends, family and the group gave Trish strength throughout.
Group members range in age from early
twenties to early fifties. Some are currently receiving their chemotherapy or radiotherapy, others are several years on from finishing their treatment. Each woman in the Young Ones is remarkable in her own right:
she has the determination to fight the disease positively, and wishes to help others by talking about her own experience. We all have common goals; to support each other, and our friends and families, and to promote
awareness of breast cancer in all age groups, making sure that every woman knows how to check herself for possible symptoms of breast cancer.
Of course, we need to raise funds, these are vital to ensure the
ongoing success of the group. This allows us to cover the group expenses, which include telephone support, providing a library of books and information services, refreshments, and transport costs. We also hope to
raise money to support the proposed new breast care unit at West Suffolk Hospital, and donate needed items to ward G1, the oncology ward, where so many of us received such wonderful treatment, advice and support.
The group email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
other group contacts:
DAWN COOK c/o West Suffolk Hospital, tel 01284 713212 ( office hours)
BREAST CARE TEAM c/o West Suffolk Hospital , tel 01284 713281 ( office hours)