Sheila Coad

I am riding the Coast2Coast in April and thought I would use this epic ride to raise funds for 'Breast Cancer Haven' Leeds for the support they gave my sister Liz during and after her treatment for Breast Cancer. Please read her story below, every pound donated would be greatly appreciated.

There was nothing! Not a lump, not a pain, not a discharge, not any inkling that something was lurking and growing inside me! The first I knew was when I was called back a few days after my routine mammogram.
I will never forget that day as long as I live. That picture of my virtually white breast on the screen; the painful onslaught of biopsies that followed; the troubled faces all around me, trying to prepare me for the inevitable news that would come; my wonderful, amazing husband holding me close, telling me that whatever this was, we would face together but then also going home and having to break the news to my two children. After that my life felt that it belonged to someone else for quite a long time.
Ten days later, I was having a skin saving mastectomy and just went through the initial journey in complete shock I think. My husband and children were with me every step of the way and their strength was truly amazing but I was an emotional wreck. My life had been picked up, shaken violently and thrown to the ground. I didn’t know how to get up, which direction to crawl or how to put all of it right.
My daughter found the leaflet for The Haven, Leeds and suggested we went. It was my lifeline, and at times my sanctuary. I don’t think any of the ladies there have any idea how important they were to me moving around this massive corner in my life and begin to walk forward on this new road. It was something that I will be eternally grateful for, for the rest of my life.
The Haven provides us with help and support we can’t get anywhere else. It’s not just about getting counselling or finding information about our cancer etc. (however they do provide this in abundance) it’s about helping us to recognise that we’re all individuals on our own journeys and each one is no better or worse than someone else’s. They give you hope and time to move on, giving the support and tools we need to do this. Whether that is visiting the dietician to help us improve our health through our food intake or having hypnotherapy sessions to combat sleep or emotional issues, reflexology to support relaxation etc etc All of these are given free of charge yet they are absolutely priceless!
So saying a massive thank you to all of you for supporting The Haven doesn’t always go far enough but it’s all I can do. It’s an invaluable support for breast cancer sufferers and their families and I just hope that if my cancer comes back (which is something we all dread yet know the possibilities of it happening) then The Haven will still be there for me and others. Thank you!

Sheila Coad