Mental Health Awareness Week

The theme during Mental Health Awareness Week, is body image.  This can mean different things to different people so we've decided to focus on why we think our bodies are amazing despite the challenges many of us face.  Nicola from our head office Finance Team tells us a bit about why her body is so wonderful.

She said: "Mental ill health can be triggered by so many different things. In Feb 2015 my mental health was tested to the max, I was 5 months into studying for a degree and training for the Prudential 100 mile bike ride around London and Surrey later that year, when overnight my body became a victim of the dreaded C word. The year I was looking forward to was shattered. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma on February 10th 2015.

Six months of intense Chemo and Radiotherapy meant giving up my place on the ride. Travelling to Coventry to University became a struggle. Fortunately, my other half was allowed to take my place on the ride. Along with both my parents and 2 other friends, he rode not only for me but also to raise money for Bloodwise, a charity who specialise in research into blood cancers.

I'm very pleased to say they all crossed the finish line in remarkable times. As for my degree, I was determined not to let this disease take over my life, I was sent the lectures to study from home and even sat in hospital on chemo days taking exams. In October 2018, I graduated from University with a first class hons degree.

My journey was a roller coaster ride throughout, I had good days, bad days and days I locked myself in my bedroom because I didn't want to see anyone. However as strange as you might think the day that was a complete high to everyone around me was my worst day; 1st November 2018, the day I was discharged from hospital. Even though my cancer has gone, the battle with my mental health continues but my body is amazing because it helped me beat cancer."