Walking group is perfect tonic for cancer patients

A NEW partnership is helping cancer patients boost their health.

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Macmillan and Paths for All have teamed up to offer people affected by cancer the chance to boost their health by walking.

Previous advice saw ­patients urged to rest during and after treatment - but now doctors want them to stay active.

In response, the cancer charity has organised a new project with walking group Paths for All.

The scheme will see walks leave from four Glasgow ­libraries, leading cancer ­patients on strolls all around the city.

Walk leader Helen Johnston, from Baillieston, ­became involved after using exercise to help her as she coped with cancer.

The 63-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and with ­cancer of the vocal chords last year.

Her Macmillan nurse recommended she get involved with the charity's Move More circuit classes and from there she discovered the walking programme.

Helen said: "When you are first diagnosed everything feels very busy and out of your hands.

"You're back and forward to hospital appointments and meeting consultants.

"But when that all settles down it can feel very lonely. I went through a spell where I felt like I was in limbo and didn't really know what to do with myself. My Macmillan nurse was wonderful and recommended Move More. Then I found out about the walking group - and now I'm a walk leader."

Just last week Helen had the results of a body scan and the cancer has not spread anywhere else.

She added: "I am over the moon, I am delighted. It's brilliant news, especially as we're looking for more ­people to get involved with the group.

"Anyone can come along and if they are nervous then I will go and pick them up and bring them to the Mitchell and if they don't feel like walking then we can have a coffee and a gab."

The free walks are ­tailored to the needs of the people taking part.

They leave from The Mitchell Library on a ­Monday at 6.30pm, Pollok ­Library on a Wednesday at 1.30pm, Scotstoun Leisure Centre on a Thursday at noon and Easterhouse ­Library on a Wednesday at noon.

Groups are also available to carers, friends and family members and will be rolled out across Scotland after the Glasgow programme is underway.

To find your nearest walk, e-mail macmillan@paths forall.org.uk or call 01259 222338 or text WalkMORE and your name to 88802.

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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