Laurencekirk woman Sarah Haugh is backing a national cancer campaign after a survey found that loved ones of cancer patients lack support.
Sarah, whose husband survived bowel cancer, is urging partners and families of bowel cancer patients to seek support.
She spoke out as new research, commissioned by the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, highlighted the hidden pain of family and friends.
Sarah, who lives in Laurencekirk with her husband Richard, said: “The emotional impact on family and friends can be very isolating. It might appear that you are coping but the reality is often different. It can make such a difference to talk to someone who understands what you are going through.
“I’d urge anyone having a hard time, whether you’re a patient or a relative, to contact Beating Bowel Cancer where you can speak to one of their nurses or chat to someone on their forum who’s been in a similar situation.”
The report shows that only 66% of family members and friends felt they were given the information and support they needed while helping their loved one through treatment. It was found that most people in the study turn to partners, friends and healthcare professionals for support but worryingly 15% of family and friends said that they don’t speak to anyone.
Thankfully after surgery and chemo scans show Richard is now cancer-free. The couple are supporters and fundraisers for Beating Bowel Cancer and Sarah now runs the relative to relative support forum, where carers can find confidential support.
The report coincides with the charity releasing its Hidden Heartache appeal, which will raise funds to enable them to support more family and friends affected by bowel cancer.