When I was diagnosed with low-grade non-hodgkin lymphoma I was told I wouldn't be treated yet. I did know that lymphoma was a type of cancer but had never heard of the idea that you didn’t necessarily treat this cancer once diagnosed but ‘watched and waited' (active monitoring). As a scientist, I wanted to know more about my condition. I had access to scientific research papers but quickly realised that the best source of information was that provided by Lymphoma Action. As my condition developed, I was grateful to be able to access their relevant information booklets.
In 2017, seven years after my initial diagnosis and three years after a course of treatment, I was in stable remission and retired from Liverpool University Chemistry Department. I have always been involved in my local community as a volunteer, being a Trustee of two local musical charities. However, I now wanted to get involved with something medical and Lymphoma Action seemed to be a good way to start.
As a Lymphoma Action volunteer I have helped facilitate three Live Your Life workshops for people finishing treatment or on active monitoring. I'm now a volunteer Ambassador and also assist in running the Nantwich Support Group.
In my Ambassador role I've raised awareness (and funds) of lymphoma and the charity by speaking at a local Rotary Club. I hadn’t realised until I did it, how much of a buzz I could get from talking to others about the work of Lymphoma Action! The talk was very enjoyable as I was able to recollect my experience as the recipient of a Rotarian Graduate fellowship to Canada over 40 years ago and link to why I was now representing Lymphoma Action. I’ve planned to do more talks in the North West of England.
Throughout my volunteering experience Lymphoma Action staff have been incredibly supportive and professional, providing suitable training, feedback and encouragement.