The heart-shaped cushions that are stitched with love
A CANCER survivor has set up a group to pamper women who have or are suffering from the disease to help them feel feminine again.
Veronica White and a group of her friends set up the Wellness Tree after she battled breast cancer four years ago.
For the last two years, the not-for-profit organisation has provided therapies, such as massages and manicures, for women with cancer and cancer survivors, and it hopes to eventually open its own treatment centre.
Mrs White said: "The Pink Rose Suite does a wonderful job but my friends and I felt that we needed something to help us feel better about ourselves.
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"The treatment for cancer is pretty devastating and it is made worse by the fact that you lose your hair and start to lose confidence in yourself, particularly for young women.
"Suffering from gynaecological cancers can also be difficult as, even though there may be nothing to see on the outside, a hysterectomy can have a drastic effect on the way ladies feel about their femininity.
"We wanted to set up something that would increase self-esteem and self-confidence because feeling better in yourself is key to the recovery."
The group held a pampering day at New Waltham Village Hall, one of two that members host every year.
Former cancer patient Carol Eaton, 49, of Goxhill, heard of Wellness Tree after being left a pink cushion when she woke up from an operation.
"I woke up and had this lovely cushion and it really did mean a lot to me, so I try to support the group where I can," she said.
"The treatments give you a chance to relax and a sense of wellbeing – a bit of time for yourself."
Many women have skin removed from under their arm during breast cancer operations and resting arms on the cushions can provide pain relief for such patients.
Kathleen Elsom, 67, of Mablethorpe, said "every stitch is made with love", and that the cushions now pay for themselves.
She said: "I was sent a lovely note from a lady who received a cushion. She told me that she wanted to donate some money for stuffing and material.
"Since then, more people have started to come forward with donations and I have been able to make more and more cushions."
Lynda Cooper, 45, of Holton-le-Clay, said: "I had cancer five years ago and my aunt has had cancer, too, so we came along together.
"Even when you have recovered, cancer is always in the back of your mind. Even when your body is better, it stays with you emotionally. When you feel a bit poorly, there is always that slight fear.
"Treatments help you feel a little bit better about yourself. It helps that you are in a room full of people that have been through the same experience as you have."
Fundraiser Rosie Limb added: "The women involved have been or are going through a lot, but we try to create a comfortable area where they feel that they are among friends – and it brings people together."
For more information, call Veronica on 07941 412457 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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