More than 150 people directly affected by cancer have received support from Get Active Feel Good Lincolnshire in the last 12 months.
The joint project, between Macmillan Cancer Support and Active Lincolnshire, aims to improve outcomes in adults with a cancer diagnosis by encouraging them to lead a more active lifestyle.
Billy Granger from Harby near Lincoln was diagnosed with colon cancer last year, just weeks after losing his wife of 39 years to lung cancer.
He began working with Fiona Roche, one of two Macmillan Physical Activity Practitioners in Lincolnshire, who introduced him to an over 60s exercise class. He said:
“When my wife died I felt very lonely. We did everything together; she was my best friend. We didn’t need anyone else, we liked each other’s company. So to be told I had cancer so soon after losing Diane was very hard.
“Macmillan has been really good and since I met Fiona a year ago, my life has changed dramatically. I started out after my operations very weak and had to use a walking stick; I fell over a couple of times in the house.
“Fiona came along and got me going to a Vitality exercise class at Saxilby. I did that for a couple of months combined with walking. I then moved on St. Barnabas where I did circuit training, tai-chi and walking 2-3 miles a day. I can even walk up Steep Hill in Lincoln.
“Everyone says how well I look now, and I feel 100% fitter.”
Since Get Active Feel Good Lincolnshire began in January 2015, the project has spoken to more than 600 professionals in an effort to normalise the discussion around cancer treatment and exercise, and provided support to 150 people in Lincolnshire, living with cancer.
Over the next 12 months, Macmillan Physical Activity Practitioners Fiona Roche and Aaron Hall, want to share the benefits of exercise for adults diagnosed with cancer.
Fiona said: “This year, we have helped people to become more active which in turn has increased their confidence and self-esteem. We offer patients dedicated one-to-one support to find suitable, safe and effective ways to become more active.
“Most of our patients are aged between 60 and 79 years so it really shows that it doesn’t matter how old you are, exercise can help.”
Anyone who has a cancer diagnosis living in Lincolnshire is welcome to take part, and self-referrals are welcome.