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In 2002, I was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer.  I was not prepared for the mental & physical challenges of treatment and was grateful to be supported by a specialist nurse who was kind, empathetic and available to listen to, and be with, my pain.


In 2015 my dad was diagnosed with cancer.  The support was minimal.  A person-centred approach seemed lost.  It is my wish to see a compassion-focused approach embedded in all cancer services, alongside support for patients to access the help they require, quickly, easily and directly. 


A final thought:  Every moment in conversation with someone who is suffering offers, at best, an opportunity for compassion and healing and, at worst, increased suffering and pain.



I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-small cell metastatic lung cancer in August 2019.  It was a bolt from the blue, I was paralysed by fear and felt completely powerless.  This reinforced for me the importance of receiving support, early in diagnosis, to identify your needs, work through your fear and give you a voice in your own treatment.  Despite feeling frightened and powerless we can all use our own lived experience to help others



After my diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer in August 2021, I had CANDU recommended to me by someone at work. I got in touch and met some of the wonderful team and never looked back! They were so incredibly supportive, listened with kindness to all my woes and concerns, offered therapies and practical help and were always friendly. I was so grateful for the support that I felt I wanted to give something back when I was strong enough. Becoming a board member has been fantastic for my own recovery as well as giving me a sense of belonging. I love that I can give others support and help through their own cancer journey with empathy and respect.


I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.  Surgery and chemotherapy followed.  It was a few difficult months both physically and mentally.  I am lucky as I was diagnosed early and had terrific support from my husband, family and friends.

I am a member of CanDu as I believe that collaboration with other charities and professional agencies, helps fuel ideas to create more practical, compassionate ways to develop support for people in their cancer journey. We all need others to help have a stronger, more caring, healthier, happier life.

A wee update. April, 2021.

In January, 2020 I had 5 years clear.  A few days later I was informed I has a small mass on a kidney and I would have another scan again in 6 months.  Following a scan in July, the mass had not changed but, after a coupe of biopsies, i was diagnosed with lymphoma, had 6 rounds of chemotherapy, responded well and mass on kidney also gone.  I am in remission and having two years of antibody therapy to prolong remission.  Again, I had and am having, wonderful treatment and support from Haematology Department.


What is different this time is, because of CANDU, I have an inspiring network of wonderful people I can turn to when I need to be heard.  I can speak to people who really understand without heaping everything onto my family, who have their own fears surrounding cancer.

Get Involved


If you have been personally affected by cancer or care for a family member and feel you have something to offer we would love to hear from you.  We would particularly welcome new members who are passionate about user-led service change and patient and public participation.
November 11, 2018


If you work with cancer patients and their families we invite you to join our dynamic user-led co-production network.  We are working together to make true 'co-production' and 'partnership' a reality in cancer care in Dundee

November 11, 2018


If you don't have the time or energy for meetings and events we still want to hear from you.  Your opinion and needs matter and by becoming an armchair expert you help to give a voice to other cancer patients and their families in the best way for you.  We can even arrange for you to attend our meetings by SKYPE if you like!!

November 11, 2018


Living with complex post-surgical issues following treatment for cervical cancer, Karen is keen to raise awareness of the importance of attending cervical smear tests for young women.



Rubina is dedicated to ensuring that cancer patients from diverse communities have suitable, culturally sensitive, information about their illness and treatment and have the support they need to access existing cancer support services.

In addition, she is committed to raising awareness of cancer in general among BME communities.



Vicky is a dedicated cancer support volunteer in Dundee and is committed to supporting people affected by cancer following her own experience caring for her Dad during his renal cancer diagnosis and treatment. 


She works as a befriender for Tayside Cancer Support, has been a long-term volunteer with CANDU, and Vicky now co-ordinates the CANDU Support Drop-In at the Wellgate Centre  supporting and providing supervision for the dedicated team of CANDU volunteers.



In 2000, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was a bolt out of the blue for the whole family. He had never really been unwell throughout his life. He refused to have any treatment and passed away at the age of 60. Then in 2011 my older sister was also diagnosed with lung cancer. Even thinking about it now, I still feel a sense of shock. She decided to have treatment, but her form of cancer was very aggressive and she passed away 6 months after diagnosis at the age of 47.

What struck me about both my dad and sister was the fact that they wouldn’t discuss what they were going through. To this day there is still so much I don’t know about their conditions. Working with CANDU opens up discussion and shared experience.  In some ways it has been cathartic for me personally.

Being with CANDU and providing art classes for our friends has been a real pleasure. When they come to the art room, I want to give them an escape, a place to experiment, chat and laugh and leave the outside world at the front door. Giving people the opportunity to try new techniques and perhaps pick up a paint brush for the first time is so rewarding.

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