A Letter from Marina

Cancer may be given umbrella terms such as breast cancer, lung cancer, bowel cancer - but what many don't understand is that every case is different. The Marina Dalglish Appeal is associated with breast cancer as a result of my illness, but patients at our centres are treated for a range of cancers. These include: prostate, bowel, blood, breast, and bladder.

I was very lucky because although I had 2 different types of breast cancer and required a double mastectomy, I did not face the same psychological barriers that many cancer patients face. Losing my breasts was not a huge deal for me; I was almost 50 and my boobs were looking past their sell by date. I'd had 4 children and they had served me well! I now have new ones and don’t need to wear a bra with a strappy top, which is great for a granny in her 60s!

Cancer, its treatment, and how you manage to deal with is different for everyone, I was lucky that I had great support from my family and friends and of course a wonderful medical team. What worried me most was losing my hair, but I ended up loving my wigs. I had a few different styles and colours, though only my family saw me without "my hat"! When my hair eventually grew back it was much thicker – a plus point to cancer!

For many women, taking care with your appearance by pencilling in your eyebrows, or applying a little bit of eye liner, or not forgetting your lippy helps you feel better and looking down at a beautiful set of red painted toe nails when you are not feeling l00% helps too! This is something my nurse Donna always encouraged and still suggests to her other patients, which has had led to the foundation of The Retreat at our chemotherapy centre in Aintree and will be real focus at our new support Centre.

Many people approach me telling me how they have benefited from the money raised by the MDA, and it's always lovely to hear that we have achieved what we set out to do. I have said many times that, while my name is above the door, this isn't my charity - it belongs to everybody who has supported us over the years.

So I’d like to say thank you to every single person who has donated his or her time, money, and expertise to The Marina Dalglish Appeal. We are a very small charity and I cannot over emphasise how much we value and appreciate everyone’s support; quite simply without it the charity would not be where it is today.

Marina x