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Our Story

affected by cancer (abc) was conceived and brought to life by Beryl Bowles together with a band of enthusuastic volunteers after discussions at Great Western Hostpital Swindon in 2005. The purpose was to provide a community self-help group for patients, carers, family and friends.

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We provide the opportunity for anyone affected by cancer to meet socially in friendly, relaxed surroundings. A warm welcome awaits people from all walks of life.

abc is supported by Health Care Professionals, national cancer organisations, local businesses and groups such as Rotary.

Many members support each other within and outside of our group meetings. A problem shared is a problem halved is our aim. We are all volunteers and work to overcome adversity.

Fred's Story - A Grateful Member

In January 2006 when I went for a routine blood test the nurse asked me if I had ever had my PSA level checked. I said I didn't know what that meant and she explained that it was a check for Prostate Cancer. My reply was for her to tick the box on the form, although I had no reason to think I had a problem.

The result of this blood test and a series of other tests confirmed my PSA level was high and I was told that I had Prostate Cancer.

After hormone treatment and radiotherapy I was rather low and not sure whether my symptoms after treatment were to be expected.

I saw a small article in the Swindon Advertiser about a group called 'abc affected by cancer'.
I went along to the next meeting and made to feel at ease and very welcome. Since then I haven't looked back.

The abc group helped me learn to live with cancer at the time, as some members of the group had also been down the same route as me, and I was able to talk to them and gain support.
Eventually I was able to give the same support to other new members.

As a result of my involvement and the help I received, I felt there was a need for a support group for men only, because I believed women felt more able to talk about their problems amongst themselves, but men are less open. I therefore, with the help of a professional person from the Great Western Hospital, applied to Macmillan for funding to set up a 'Men's Group'. This has now been running for nearly four years.

I would recommend 'abc affected by cancer' as a group for anyone who has suffered cancer, or been affected by the illness suffered by a relative or partner. We are a very happy and welcoming group.

Fred Bassett

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