Odyssey Foundation Cumbria was born in 2013 by Sandra Jones and became a registered charity on 15 January 2014. At the age of 45 years old I was diagnosed with Grade 3 Breast Cancer and my life changed significantly – nothing can prepare you for a cancer diagnosis.
I was a happy go-lucky woman ,45 years old ,who loved my job in Children’s Services and was looking forward to our holiday in Goa; oblivious to what lay ahead.
In March 2011 my husband, Mark found a lump on my breast. I didn’t feel any different and felt completely healthy as someone who kept fit everyday. Mark made me go to the doctor’s the next morning – I was already in denial and 2 days before we went on holiday the biopsies and all the tests were done.
That same month I was made redundant from my job but we decided to go and enjoy our holiday as best as we could. Our worst fears became our reality upon return from Goa. I was shaken to the very core faced with the roller coaster journey of surgery, hair loss, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and the financial worry of no income – in an instant everything was stripped away from me.
I decided I was going to take matters into my hands following my own devasting news and through myself into setting up Wigsense to create a sanctuary for people affected by cancer and hair loss. Along this journey I quickly realised that there was a huge gap between medical and home and that a recovery package of support was needed to start improving services.
Everyone I met over the past 3 years would all say the same thing; they needed someone to talk to and somewhere to go and not enough support.
The News & Star & Border ITV supported me from day one of my life changing journey and quickly people started to follow my progress. People that had been diagnosed with cancer started to pick up the phone to me.
I have been busy working behind the scenes on lots of charity development and our plans to become a reality in Cumbria. Our vision is to have a purpose built Centre in Cumbria and bridging the gap between medical and home and ultimately improving the quality of life for people, their families and our future generations.
We have been busy fundraising to raise much needed funds so we can start delivering some local services and our goal to have our very own bespoke wellbeing Centre. We are funded primarily by donations and lots of local fundraising events.
We are here for anyone who is, or has been, affected by cancer in any way, as a patient, carer, friend, relative or neighbor. Our services aim to provide practical support and advice on every aspect of a person’s cancer journey – we care because we have been there.
We aim to enhance and improve the quality of life for anyone affected by cancer. Through my own personal experience and lots of research we will be able to get you the support you need or simply be there for you.
Love Sandra xx