If you’ve been to any Shine events in the last year, you would have heard us talking about our Great Escape – a weekend in Bournemouth for young adults with cancer. Well, at the end of January, we finally held it. And it was a fantastic time!
We started the weekend on Friday afternoon with a the least ice-breakery type activity we could think of to get the ball rolling. We had 20 Escapees join us – men and women all of whom are in their 20s, 30s and 40s. There were all different types of cancers too! We then swiftly moved into some welcome cocktails and dinner.
Saturday morning started off with yoga for those who were up early and then we moved into some tougher discussions about issues like anxiety and depression, fertility, work, and what it’s like to live with cancer when it can’t be cured. To boost spirits on the Saturday night we had some wine with a yummy fajita dinner – followed by a few pretty raucous rounds of bingo!
Sunday morning we had a session on finance and insurance – we quickly discovered that although it’s really important to have a will, almost none of us did. It tops the list for our post-Escape follow up! We then moved onto our physical challenge – a 5km or 1km walk along the beach in Bournemouth. We were amazingly lucky with the weather. Despite torrential rain in the first couple of days of the Escape, the sun was blazing and everyone managed the route with some taking the noddy train to and from the beach.
We ended the Escape knowing that a lot of new friendships had been made and also that many people didn’t quite feel as alone as they did before.
At Shine we know how isolating it can be to be a young adult with cancer and we’re aiming to build a community that can support everyone in their 20s, 30s and 40s who is diagnosed. That’s 30,000 people per year in the UK! We currently starting to plan for our 2015 Escape (if you can believe it!). If you’d like to help us make the event even bigger and better, why not consider fundraising for us, making a donation? Check our website for more information!