Active Recovery, the Derby County Community Trust’s cancer rehabilitation programme, celebrated its second anniversary on 23rd September. Over the last two years nearly 400 participants have engaged in the programme as part of their own recovery journey from cancer or through supporting a friend or family member through recovery.
The event, hosted at Pride Park Stadium, was attended by over 80 of the programme’s past and present participants, six of whom shared their stories before lunch and cake with donations going to Macmillan as part of their Coffee Morning week – which raised £111.45 for the charity.
Vincent Martin and Derek Puplett, were two of the participants to share their stories.
Vincent said: “I was diagnosed with myeloma in 2016 and it was a complete shock to everyone. I went from being the life and soul of the party to experiencing chronic back pain as a result of the cancer which made it unbearable to even move sometimes.
“My counsellor told me about the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ event at Pride Park Stadium where I met the Derby County Community Trust team. I only went to my first session in June, but it has already changed my life. The team, the exercise, meeting people I can talk to about my problems – it’s all revolutionised the way I think about things and I can deal with my back pain much more. I look forward to it every week and I’m even able to go on holiday again now which I never thought would be possible.”
Derek has been part of the programme since it started in 2017, and said, “I joined as soon as I heard about the programme after I was in recovery from prostate cancer. I wanted to get back to my previous levels of fitness and Active Recovery provided a way of doing disciplined exercise the way that I wanted to. The team wrote me a fitness plan to continue with while I was on holiday, it’s become such a way of life and has helped me hugely after gaining almost a stone after my surgery.”
One participant sent her story to be read at the event as she couldn’t attend due it being her wedding day! She explained the role Active Recovery has played in her journey and particularly how Steph Thompson, Health Team Leader at the Trust has helped her.
Zara Scott said: “When I was diagnosed with my brain tumour in January 2018, I woke up from my brain operation and I thought my life was over. I couldn’t walk, I could only move the left side of my body and I couldn’t communicate.
“Since starting Active Recovery in March 2019, it has allowed me to push my fitness on to the next level and my confidence has grown so much since starting at the gym.
“Steph is amazing! She is so patient, encouraging and has boosted my confidence more than I could ever imagine. She takes her time to explain the benefits of the exercises and suggests further advice on diet to help me reach my goals.
“Unfortunately, I cannot be there today as it is my wedding day. Steph has even taken further time out to help me look fantastic in my chosen wedding dress!”
Active Recovery is available to anybody who is undergoing treatment or in the five years following their treatment. It is also open for partners, friends or family attend in support of the participant. To make a self-referral to join the programme please contact [email protected].