Retreat is just the trick to help cancer patients

BREAST cancer patients gathered in Saddleworth for a retreat that promoted the benefits of exercise for their well-being.

It was organised by Jo Taylor, from Diggle, who formed After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD) to provide a support mechanism for women going through or post chemotherapy or living with cancer.

Ten women from as far afield as Edinburgh took part in two days of physical activity that involved jogging, cycling, Nordic Walking, yoga and holistic therapy.

Taking regular exercise has been proven to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and also the risk of developing secondary cancer.

Jo, who has been battling cancer for 11 years, described the weekend as “amazing”.

She said: “I had fantastic feedback – one woman told me she was going to buy
a bike and others were to take up yoga and Nordic Walking.

“It was hugely motivational to be with other patients and also for bonding.

“This needs to be built into a NHS package for treatment.”

Jo organised a pilot retreat two years ago and has since been successful in acquiring funding from the National Lottery for three retreats each year.

She has a further two planned for September and October with 20 places in each, and already both are fully booked.

Jo is already looking at dates for next years and the eventual aim is to have five retreats each year.

Saddleworth-based UProjects put on the cycling, running and walking during the retreat.

Mother-of-two Jo was diagnosed with primary breast cancer 11 years ago and since that became secondary she has received treatment every three weeks for the last four years.

Jo, who was a keen runner, continued to exercise and did the Manchester to Blackpool cycle ride while undergoing chemo.

She has raised just short of £20,000 for The Christie from various events.

Today Jo says she is very involved in the breast cancer community worldwide, having visited Lisbon and Madrid. She also has done public speaking, writes a blog and works with Macmillan and Cancer Research UK.

Find out more on Jo’s website: www.abcdiagnosis.co.uk

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