This is a real article written by a CU Fitter member called Sandra, about her experiences.

Taking the first step with CU Fitter™

Hello, I’m Sandra and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

When I was diagnosed I felt as though I’d been thrown into a scene of “Inception” – if you haven’t seen this film directed by Christopher Nolan, I’d recommend it – the walls of the world, as I knew it, seemed to fall apart and the initial reality of it all was a struggle.

What I didn’t appreciate at the time - but do now - is that there are so many organisations out there that provide support, you really don’t have to go through it all alone. One such organisation is Cancer United. It’s the only organisation for people diagnosed with cancer that I have come across that helps with the transition back into mainstream fitness – outside of standard physiotherapy provision.

Cancer United was started by Jan Sheward who herself was diagnosed with cancer many years ago. The charity aims to provide a safe and effective exercise pathway to recovery and beyond for people who have had a cancer diagnosis. Not many people know about Cancer United and its “CU Fitter” programme but more should.

I discovered Cancer United while having radiotherapy treatment – from a leaflet discretely hidden in a pack of “stuff” received during radiotherapy treatment. I nearly put the lot in a draw to forget about but something compelled me to take a peek at the pack. When I saw the leaflet I felt like Charlie Bucket in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, who had discovered the golden ticket in a Wonka bar. Up to this point, I had been apprehensive about how I was going to get my body back to a decent level of fitness after the pummelling it took through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

It can be quite daunting when you are moving along the conveyor belt of treatment back into the “real world”. It was really helpful speaking to Jan and realising that it’s ok to want to “just get on with it” and move forward as best you can without feeling ungrateful for all the care and attention received from wonderful professionals along the way. Cancer United is not just a charity providing fitness treatment, it is also a social group too filled with like-minded people who just want to live life fully.

After an initial consultation with one of Jan’s fitness trainers, Dwayne, I knew that Jan and her team understood what I needed. It is so refreshing talking to fitness professionals who are responsive to the needs of people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Taking classes make me feel “able” to climb the huge mountain I find myself on. It is also encouraging to meet with like-minded people at class who have been through or are currently going through treatment. The classes are fun, uplifting, and supportive. The fitness trainers are understanding and always take time to listen as class attendees share their daily experiences while warming up and cooling down.

For me, CU Fitter™ classes are a good step back into the everyday world thanks to Jan and her team of fitness trainers.

Why not try one of the CU Fitter™ classes yourself?

Contact

If you have any questions about Cancer United, or would like to join our regular support groups, we would love to hear from you.

Call us on 01903 779880 or email us at: enquiries@cancerunited.org.uk.

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People’s Postcode Lottery logo graphic

People’s Postcode Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Our project received £15,000 from the Trust to build the CU Fitter Rehab Gym. In 2017, the Project received £20,000 towards the purchase of the CU Fitter Minibus.

Cancer United is a registered charity in England and Wales No.: 1155747
Trustees: Kathryn Hall - Heidi Harris - Dr Sankha Mitra - Matt Owen - Victoria Read - Erica Sheward - Jan Sheward