25 July 2023

Carol, 57, was initially diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer back in 2021. Following a full mastectomy and reconstruction surgery to her right side, she was then diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. This then resulted in six rounds of chemotherapy and a series of Herceptin injections for a further 10 months.

Prior to diagnosis, Carol had recently retired from the prison service where she had worked for 21 years. As a result of chemotherapy and the lockdown restrictions during the pandemic, she had gained weight and needed some help to get back on track and feel motivated.

Carol heard about our cancer rehab programme through the MacMillan Cancer Support charity via Queen’s Hospital, where she had received a course of holistic therapies post-surgery. Carol completed the YMCA 12-week programme in September 2022 and soon noticed a big improvement in her diet and physical health.

She said “I would recommend this programme. The structure and discipline that the programme offers helped to improve my mental wellbeing as well as my physical fitness.

“Staff and other users made it a very comfortable environment to train in, and I really appreciated being able to bring along a friend to support me as a training partner.”

The programme runs for 12 weeks and is free to anyone over the age of 16, living in the area and recovering from cancer.

Since completing the programme, Carol has joined YMCA as a gym member. She maintains a healthier lifestyle through diet, enjoying the gym and circuit training sessions 3-4 times a week. Her overall fitness level continues to improve and as a result, Carol has now lost over 20 kilos in weight.

To find out more about our cancer rehab programme and how you can help us to continue to support people diagnosed with cancer in your local community, visit: www.ymcatg.org.