ABC Diagnosis raises over £15,000 for breast cancer patients’ exercise retreats

A DIGGLE woman with breast cancer inspired a group of walkers to tackle the Three Peaks of Saddleworth and raise more than £5,700 for exercise retreats for patients.

Jo Taylor, who has secondary breast cancer, was joined by more than 20 people for the challenge, including past attendees of retreats, primary and secondary breast cancer patients, friends and family members.

The retreats are run by Jo of After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, an organisation providing support and exercise retreats for people with breast cancer, and supported by Alan and Gaynor Keane of UP Projects (

Jo Taylor

This was the second challenge to bring past attendees together and raise vital funds for the retreats, which have welcomed more than 250 people in the last seven years.

Additionally, the National Lottery have again supported the retreats with a £10,000 grant that will go towards the cost of three weekends, which are fully booked for 2023.

Sadly, a number of previous attendees of the retreats have since died of secondary breast cancer so the group remembered the friends they have lost on the last peak.

Jo commented: “These retreats are fantastic, and some of the attendees wanted to support them going forward.

“Last year we had an idea to create a challenge to do a Three Peaks of Saddleworth hike. We had a large group of people who took part in this challenge, which was a very hot day which certainly added to the challenge.

“Attendees came from the North West area, Leicester, London and Aberdeen to take part in what was a longer than last year’s hike of just over 10 miles which took them eight hours.

It’s a real group effort and wonderful that they are doing so much to support abcd and pay it forward for future attendees is inspirational.”

Jo explained: “There is a small non-refundable deposit that patients have to pay due to increased costs attending the retreat. 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. Patients have space on their own but they 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 work in partnership with local businesses to support the retreats, so at the same time supporting the economy of the local community.

Three of the patients doing the challenge have secondary breast cancer which can include their bones, liver, lungs and brain. They show that even with this disease, they can still keep active and fit – they are certainly not defined by cancer.

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

Find out more online: Support can be given by donating here

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