ABC Diagnosis raises £16,000 to provide exercise retreats for breast cancer patients

A DIGGLE mum who has secondary breast cancer tackled the Three Peaks of Saddleworth challenge along with other patients and their families and friends, raising £16,000.

Jo Taylor, of After Breast Cancer (ABC) Diagnosis, was joined by more than 40 people for the challenge to raise funds to provide support and exercise retreats for people with breast cancer.

The walkers included past attendees of her motivational exercise retreats, a mixture of primary and secondary breast cancer patients, friends and family members.

Six of the patients who did the challenge have secondary breast cancer but showed that they can still keep active and fit, and are certainly not defined by cancer.

Tackling the three peaks

Sadly, a number of past attendees of the retreats have since died of secondary breast cancer so the group remembered the friends they have lost on one of the peaks.

The event became Jo’s most successful fundraiser ever thanks to the support and donations received.

She said: “We have raised a phenomenal £16,000 which will secure next year’s retreats.

“It is pretty spectacular. I thought we would raise maybe a couple of thousand pounds and I would have been thrilled at that!”The money, along with a Lottery grant of £10,000 which Jo applied for and won will ensure her next retreat can go ahead.

“These retreats are fantastic and a lot of past attendees wanted to support them going forward,” Jo explained.

“We had an idea to do a Three Peaks of Saddleworth hike. It’s a real group effort and wonderful that they are doing so much to support abcd and future attendees.

“There is a small non-refundable deposit patients have to pay due to increased costs. But everything apart from travel, evening meals and drinks on the retreat are free.

“This includes two nights at a local B&B, guided exercise and support delivered on the two-day weekend experience.
“Patients have space on their own but meet other people in the same situation as them, make new friends and find support.

“Attendees surprise themselves with what they can achieve. Peer support and meeting other people with a lived experience is hugely important and beneficial to their wellbeing.

“Physical activity is very important both physically and mentally for patients and we wanted others to get the same buzz that I get from exercise.”

ABC Diagnosis is an organisation and network offering peer to peer support for people with breast cancer and aiming to reduce fear, anxiety and isolation, while supporting them to resume normal life, living both with and beyond cancer.

It works in partnership with local businesses to support the retreats and attendees come from all over the UK, and even the Isle of Wight and Guernsey.

The retreats are extremely popular, with more than 250 people attending in the last six years, and are fully booked for 2022.

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