A LEEDS support centre for cancer patients changed one woman’s life by leading her into a new career.
Macmillan Cancer Support’s Robert Ogden Centre helped Frances Duffy cope with her cancer diagnosis and the severe side effects she suffered from treatment.
She found so much benefit that she retrained in hypnotherapy and now specialises in helping others with the illness.
Mrs Duffy told her story in support of the Yorkshire Evening Post’s fundraising campaign for Macmillan.
The 49-year-old from Alwoodley, Leeds, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 as she was recovering from other health issues.
However the chemotherapy left her with terrible side effects.
She had been told about the Robert Ogden Centre at St James’s Hospital, which offers free complementary therapies and support to anyone affected by cancer, and was recommended to try hypnotherapy.
This helped her cope with the treatment.
“I had whatever therapy they could give me,” she said.
“The centre was amazing for me. I used it all the time.”
Mrs Duffy, who previously had worked as a PA, legal executive and had also modelled, wanted to help at the centre and got involved with the Look Good, Feel Better workshop for women undergoing cancer treatment.
Then last year she decided to train as a hypnotherapist because she had found the therapy invaluable. She started her own business and also provides hypnotherapy and relaxation to teenage cancer patients at Leeds General Infirmary as well as volunteering at the Robert Ogden Centre.
Mrs Duffy, who between her and husband Derek has five children, said: “I wanted to give something back.
“A lot of people who give up their time here have had some close involvement with cancer. They are a really great team.”
She said Macmillan provided a fantastic service through the centre which wasn’t available elsewhere.
“My main aim is to keep as well as possible in body and mind,” she said.
“That’s where centres like this come into their own.”
The YEP is raising £35,000 for Macmillan through the Macmillan Centenary Appeal with every penny set to make a massive difference to the lives of people with cancer in Leeds.
To donate to the YEP’s Macmillan Appeal or for more information, contact 01924 232442, email JStrachan@macmillan.org.uk or to give online, log on to www.justgiving.com/Yorkshire-Evening-Post.
l More information about Frances’s hypnotherapy practice is at www.calmandcollected.org.