Cancer patient aims to help other sufferers cope better
Last updated at 20:53, Thursday, 16 August 2012
A Seaton woman who was diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year has set up her own charity to help women with the disease look and feel better.
Karen Shaw, 47, has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer since January and set up the Karen Shaw Feel Good Campaign the following month.
When she was diagnosed her colleagues and friends at the county council’s child services department raised money to buy her a real hair wig and other treatments to help her cope with hair loss and make her feel better.
It made such a difference she decided to set up the charity to help others.
Karen said: “Those three weeks when you are diagnosed are the most traumatic ever and you don’t believe it will happen to you.
“It would be very easy when you lose your hair to hide away because of the stares you get from people.
“The campaign is about looking good and improving your self esteem so you can go out and face the world.
“It is proved that a positive attitude leads to a better prognosis.”
The charity has now raised around £3,000 from events including an Indian buffet lunch and raffle by child services’ Whitehaven office and a raffle at Maryport Golf Club.
One of the treatments that Karen found particularly beneficial during her chemotherapy treatment was Reiki, which she received from Michaela Ashby at Tea and Tranquility in Cockermouth.
The shop is now using its first birthday celebrations to help raise money for Karen’s campaign by holding a tea party.
Michaela said: “The idea came to me because the whole reason for starting up was to create a place that people can come and feel relaxed and nurtured.
“When I met Karen I felt very inspired by what she is doing, it is amazing and so positive.”
As part of the campaign, Karen buys vouchers for treatments from places including Tea and Tranquility and Bliss Nail Studio in Workington and stylish and colourful hats.
She gives these to the Henderson Suite at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven for them to give them out to the women who need them.
Karen said: “It is just small things but if it helps just one woman feel a bit better then it has worked.
“Everywhere I am buying vouchers from or recommending I have tried out and it is not just the treatments it is how the people make you feel.
“Michaela makes you feel so comfortable, so relaxed and goes out of her way to recommended things and look into things that could help.
“I have got a lot out of helping other people, it has helped me get through this because it has given me a focus.
“I have shocked myself because I thought I would be sat on the sofa not going out but I haven’t.
“Cancer almost gives you another life and not in a bad way, it makes you stand still and take stock.
“It is amazing, I can honestly say my life is more fulfilled than it was before. Everything you do has a purpose now.”
The tea party fund-raiser will be held on September 7 with booking slots available between 10.30am and 4.30pm by calling 01900 827752.
Tickets are £15 and include tea, cakes, sandwiches and a choice of mini treatment.
For more information about the charity, visit www.facebook.com/TheKarenShawFeelGoodCampaign
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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