JOHN RULLO: How Macmillan is helping Andrea to battle back

Back in October 2019 I met a woman whom I’d fleetingly seen once before at a Macmillan Coffee Morning in Wigan’s Cancer Care Centre.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 2:59 pm
Andrea before and after her makeover

While enjoying my chocolate fudge cake, one of the Macmillan Information and Support advisors grabbed my arm and said: “You must meet this lady. She’s amazing.” She wasn’t wrong.

We didn’t have much time that day, so we met up a few weeks later at the Bay Horse in Ashton. Andrea Aspey was just into her 50s and had been through treatment for breast cancer. She’d had a lumpectomy, cavity shave, four months of chemo and two months of radiotherapy.

We spoke about how she didn’t feel like herself as she had always been passionate about her fitness. At this point Andrea was only able to walk short distances and her loss of hair had also affected her identity.

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Andrea with daughter Sam

She told me of the heroic help she’d had after her rightful claim for Personal Independence Payment support was rejected. Our Macmillan benefits advisor Joyce helped her successfully appeal her case.

She also took part in beauty sessions that helped her deal with hair loss and body confidence so she could feel like the inspiring woman she is.

Fast-forward to today and I was busting with pride when I caught up with Andrea on the phone. With the help of her daughter Sam she is now training three times a week and feeling great. Even though Sam broke both ankles last year, they have worked together to get through. Andrea also enjoys yoga and uses herbal remedies to help ease anxiety.

She is extremely grateful to all the doctors, nurses and Macmillan Staff at Wigan Royal Infirmary. She sends special praise to Joyce and Mariesha at the Cancer Care Centre who helped her in so many ways.

For information, support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 0000 or visit macmillan.org.uk.

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