A PENSIONER has spoken of her cancer ordeal after shedding seven stones in six months and being left to rely on emergency funding.
When cancer of the gullet struck down Jacqueline Gunn, of Lune Grove, Blackpool, a lifesaving operation saw her weight plummet from 18 to 11 stone.
The illness left her housebound, without any fitting clothes to wear and reliant on a vital £400 grant from Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mrs Gunn, 68, said: “My life changed after that operation.
“I’ve always been a little bit overweight but the way I lost it was tragic and I wasn’t well for more than a year.
“It was depressing because all my clothes didn’t fit.
“I don’t think it was right I was in that situation because times were hard.
“I couldn’t go shopping but they mentioned the grant to me for heating and to buy some new clothes.
“It did help me out because I knew someone was there to help.”
Mrs Gunn’s concerns were raised after 48 per cent of people who needed the handout last year spent it on clothing when they lost weight after fighting the disease.
The charity claims more people were helped with clothing than any other cost arising from having cancer including the cost of heating bills or travelling to hospital.
She added: “It’s not a nice position to be in but it’s good to think there was someone there who could help.
“I would’ve got by somehow and had to manage my budget. Without the money I would’ve had to just wait until I was better until I could do something with my clothes.
“It was lucky they were there to give me the extra money and help me.”
The grandmother has been given the all-clear from cancer following her 18-month battle and is now putting her ordeal behind her.
Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, says more than £2m in grants was given to 15,000 patients last year.
She said: “Clothing is one of a number of hidden costs cancer patients are burdened with at a time when, on average, their income halves and their outgoings rocket.
“Patients already have to deal with the physical changes to their bodies – they shouldn’t have the added stress of not being able to afford new clothes.
“We urge any cancer patients who are struggling financially to contact our helpline to find what support is available to them.”