A MUM-OF-THREE has spoken of the impact of her illness after a charity said a cancer diagnosis could be a ‘financial wrecking-ball’ to thousands.

Bethan, of Barry, was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma in March 2018 and, along with telling her family, she also had to think how her income would be affected.

Macmillan Cancer Support says cancer diagnoses can result in reduced income, rising household bills and mounting transport costs to hospital appointments.

The charity reveals more than one in three people with cancer in Wales are severely financially impacted by their diagnosis, and one in four adults in Wales – around 680,000 people – only have £250 or less in savings, as of September – and one in five don’t have any savings at all.


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Bethan said: “I’d suffered with breathlessness and a cough for three months and was eventually admitted to hospital. From there it was all a blur. I had three litres of fluid drained from my chest cavity, a CT and PET scan, and they found a huge lymphoma mass.

“My first and greatest fear was for my children – how could I possibly break the news to them? The next worry was definitely work. While they were great, I did eventually enter the winter months, and the run up to Christmas, on nothing more than statutory sick pay. As a single parent I just didn’t know what benefits would be available to me.

“It was only with a visit to Sarah – a Macmillan welfare benefits adviser – that I could begin to put my mind at rest. She helped set me up with a grant, and to work through what options I had.

“A cancer diagnosis is never just about the treatment – it’s all the other ‘normal life’ things you need to continue coping with as well – work, paying the bills, affording to put the heating on, food on the table or how to buy a present for your kids.

“I think people affected by cancer will need the support of Macmillan now more than ever before.”

Anyone worried about their finances can speak to the Financial Guidance team on Macmillan’s Support Line - 0808 808 00 00. The Financial Guidance service is available Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm.