March friends draw on personal experiences to set up MACCS support group for cancer sufferers

New support group for cancer sufferers set up at the Riverside Practice, March. Left: Louise McAvoy

New support group for cancer sufferers set up at the Riverside Practice, March. Left: Louise McAvoy Macmillan Involvement Co-ordinator, Karen Thorley (Maccs) Practice Manager Paul Carroll and Gail Reynolds (Maccs). Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Two former cancer sufferers have set up a support group for people with the disease.

New support group for cancer sufferers set up at the Riverside Practice, March. Left: Karen Thorley

New support group for cancer sufferers set up at the Riverside Practice, March. Left: Karen Thorley (Maccs) and Gail Reynolds (Maccs). Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Gail Reynolds and Karen Thorley, both of March, have come together to launch March Area Cancer and Chronic Illness Support (MACCS).

The group’s committee held their first meeting at the Riverside Practice in March on Tuesday.

Mrs Reynolds, who is in remission for breast cancer, said: “I was diagnosed two and a half years ago when I was 40 years-old and there was no local support group. The nearest ones were in Chatteris and Wisbech but they were evening groups so, unless you could drive, you couldn’t go.

“The idea is close to both myself and Karen’s heart. We are here to support people going through cancer and also their family and friends.


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“People can come along and chat with people who have been there, done it and got the t-shirt.”

The group is receiving assistance from Macmillan Cancer Support in an advisory role and both the Riverside Practice and March Town Hall have offered to let them use their premises.

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Mrs Reynolds says the response to the group on Facebook has been very positive, with people on the March Free Discussion page saying it is needed in March.

She hopes they will be up and running within the next month or, if possible, earlier.

Mrs Thorley, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago but got the all clear in 2009, said: “It makes a lot of difference when, instead of talking over the phone, there is somebody to talk to who actually knows what to say because they’ve been through it.”

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