Understanding the needs of local women impacted by Breast Cancer, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland recently welcomed 20 women aged 50 and under to a three-day wellness retreat in Donegal.
The experience, made possible thanks to the charity’s recent Go Pink fundraising and breast cancer awareness campaign, provided space and opportunities for women to come together, step away from the pressures of their lives, and speak to one another about their cancer. With a focus on wellness and wellbeing, the itinerary for the weekend included healthy eating, yoga, forest bathing, and nature walks.
Speaking about the weekend, Cancer Focus NI group work coordinator, Caroline Hart, commented:
“This is the third retreat that the charity has run for younger women impacted by breast cancer and what is fantastic to see is the positive impact that providing these opportunities can have. Many younger women living with breast cancer are juggling families and careers and, sometimes, they can overlook how important self-focus and wellness is to their cancer journey.”
Caroline explained that during the retreats, she hears women talk openly about their cancer, family commitments, and worries. She detailed that for many participants, it is often the first time they have ever been away from their children overnight outside of hospital visits for breast cancer surgery:
“In the lead up to Christmas, younger women living with a breast cancer diagnosis can easily forget about themselves and focus on making the festive season special for everyone else. By liaising with our charity’s Family Support Team, I often draw on their knowledge and skills to support women to remember what they and their bodies need. Often, it is too easy to forget to slow down, breathe and look after themselves.”
Applications are now open for the charity’s Spring 2024 Breast Cancer Wellness Retreat, which takes place in March. For more information or to apply, email email@example.com