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Coral skipping in the garden

Coral uses her voice to shape the future of our services

Coral joined Breast Cancer Voices to get more involved in our work. We asked about her breast cancer experience and the opportunities she’s been involved in.

Can you tell us about yourself? 

I'm a mum of 3 living in Lancashire. I love nothing better than long walks with our 2 dogs. My Great Dane, Phoebe, is the love of my life. 

Coral's dogs
Coral's 2 dogs at the beach

Can you tell us about your diagnosis? 

In 2019, I was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer that was fast-growing and invasive. 3 weeks later, I needed a mastectomy, followed by more surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For me, this meant 9 months off work.

I was a managing director, and work played a big part in my life. So not being able to work was a big deal for me. Losing control was as big as the cancer diagnosis. 

What support did you get during this time? 

After my diagnosis and throughout my treatment, Breast Cancer Now was a lifeline for me. I didn’t google my diagnosis. I used Breast Cancer Now’s website for any information I needed. From its forum to its booklets, it supported me so much. I used its resources to help my mum and sisters understand my treatment and to help me share the news with my sons. 

So, after my treatment, I wanted to give something back to Breast Cancer Now, and I got involved with fundraising activities. Later, I saw an email about Breast Cancer Voices and thought it could be a great way to support the charity. 

 

Coral wearing a Breast Cancer Now t-shirt
Coral on a fundraising event, wearing her Breast Cancer Now t-shirt

Have you taken up any opportunities since you joined Breast Cancer Voices? 

Through Voices, I joined the Here for You project group. Here for You is a referral platform that helps people who've just been diagnosed with breast cancer. It signposts people to the right support for them.

The project group meets every month, and we look at ways to improve how Here for You runs. We're currently looking at how it recruits and trains its volunteers. Soon, I'll go to a volunteer training session to learn a bit more. We're also reviewing the way Here for You evaluates its impact. So far, we've put together a survey for people who've used the service.

And we're talking about ways to increase Here for You's reach to other parts of the country. We're speaking to local cancer services about using Here for You to help people get the support they need. We'll also be involved in recruiting a new team member.

I find it so rewarding being part of this project group and shaping the future of Here for You.

What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a Breast Cancer Voice? 

I would encourage anyone who wants to support Breast Cancer Now to sign up for Breast Cancer Voices. It's great because you can get involved in the areas that interest you. There’s no pressure, and it’s very flexible. There are short-term ways to get involved, as well as longer ones. 

Researchers studying breast cancer care and treatment often approach us with opportunities to get involved in. And staff at Breast Cancer Now ask us to support their projects too. They all want to hear from people who've been affected by breast cancer." 

You can become a Voice too

If breast cancer has affected you, you can play a part in breast cancer research and become one of our Voices, just like Coral. Sign up today, and we’ll send you opportunities you can get involved in. 

Breast Cancer Voices

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