Breast cancer survivors set up Ladybrook support group

Karen Millar with Sharon Reynolds of the Ladybrook Community Centre
Karen Millar with Sharon Reynolds of the Ladybrook Community Centre

After a year-long battle with breast cancer, Karen Millar wanted to reach out to support others whose lives had been affected by cancer.

Karen was just 41 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2017.

Karen said: “Although there wasn’t a lump, there was an area that didn’t feel quite right, so I had it checked out, and two weeks later got the diagnosis.

Karen’s treatment was complex, as the tumour did not respond to the first round of chemotherapy.

Karen said: “I started chemo in July, and by September the tumour had grown.

After a Mastectomy, Karen was given the all clear in November 2017.

Karen’s experiences made her want to start supporting others who had been through something similar.

Karen said: “When I was undergoing treatment, I was determined to live as ‘normally’ as possible.

“I used to go to Zumba and other exercise classes at the Ladybrook Community Centre, which is where I got talking to Sharon Reynolds.

“I used to go to Zumba and other exercise classes at the Ladybrook Community Centre, which is where I got talking to Sharon. 

“Sharon also had breast cancer 13 years ago, and she gave me hope that there was life beyond cancer, and she became someone I could talk to, because she understood.”

After Karen finished chemo, she threw a party to celebrate, and organised a raffle to fund the group.

Although the group only began on October 4, Karen and Sharon now have around 12 people attend their meetings, which take place on Friday mornings. 

The group is called impact, which stands for In Mansfield people are conquering cancer together.

Karen said: “The group is for anyone affected by cancer, be it themselves or a relative or friend.

”Some people might want to forget about cancer and just have a chat and a laugh, or a quiet space to think.

Karen andSharon want the group to keep a fun element, so people can escape the serious nature of cancer for a short while.

Karen added: “We want to bring in activities that allow people an outlet, so they can avoid mental health problems later on, such as art therapy.”

The group meet every Friday at Ladybrook Community Centre, Ladybrook Lane, Mansfield NG18 5JJ, at 10.30am.

All are welcome.