Friendship a shining light

Light the Night

Even though Gael Le Breton and Sandra White both live in Cairns, they may never have met had it not been for their shared battle with lymphoma.

Gael was diagnosed in 2012 while Sandra has been dealing with lymphoma for the past 15 years during which time she has had two bone marrow transplants.

Both women were treated in different hospitals, however they met during our 12-week Fit to Thrive exercise program.

Sandra White

Sandra at her Fit to Thrive graduation lunch with program Exercise Physiologist, Jadi Lacco

“We both finished the program and decided to continue meeting once a week for an exercise class and in the process became great friends,” Gael said.

The pair now attend our regular lymphoma support groups and recently took part in their local Light the Night walk which raised money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

“The support from the Leukaemia Foundation has not only helped us through the difficulties of living with a blood cancer, but in the process we have found each other,” 51-year-old Sandra said.

“I couldn’t have done it without them. When I went to Townsville for treatment, the Leukaemia Foundation supplied free accommodation, and now that I’m at home I attend the support groups and know I can ring the Leukaemia Foundation any time.”

Gael, 62, said she hibernated for nearly three years during her treatment.

Gael Le Breton

Jadi and Gael

“I didn’t go out or do anything, and all of a sudden I realised that things had to change,” she said.

She said meeting other people at the support groups and Fit to Thrive brought her back to life.

“I felt very alone, but when I actually spoke to people who have gone down the same track it really helped me to cope.”

Our Director of Support Services, Barbie Hartigan, said “Bringing people together and seeing friendships develop is a great by-product of our support service programs”.

If you’d like to know more about programs like Fit to Thrive, contact our Support Services team on 1800 620 420. Light the Night will be taking place in locations across Australia next year in October; more information will be posted on the Light the Night website soon.

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