GENEROUS Stretford shoppers have been thanked for their part in raising money for a specialist cancer support centre.

Shirley Tongue, centre administrator for Stretford Mall, organised a Christmas gift-wrapping service in aid of the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre in Trafford which has been a major support to her during her own battle with cancer.

This week, she handed over more than £200 to the centre and said she wanted to send a special thank you to Stretford Mall shoppers who had given donations in return for having their festive gifts wrapped.

Shirley said she doesn’t know how she would have coped without the ‘fantastic help and support’ provided by the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre after she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last summer.

She said: “I had no symptoms apart from a cough that had gone on for about six months.

“It was the worst news but the prognosis is good. Thankfully, the cancer hasn’t spread and I have just had another operation to remove the second half of the thyroid gland as a precautionary measure.

“Just after I was diagnosed, a friend suggested that I should get in touch with Macmillan Cancer Support. It was that way I found out about the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre, which is based not far away from where I live in Stretford, in the grounds of Trafford General Hospital in Davyhulme.

“The centre has a really dedicated team of staff and volunteers who provide psychological and emotional support for cancer sufferers.

“They know what people are going through when they are first diagnosed and can’t quite understand what it will mean to them and their family.

“I went on an eight-week course and they look at different subjects on each week of the course, such as how you’ll feel after your treatment, what’s best to eat and how people deal with you at work.

“One of the best things is that you have the chance to talk to other people about what you are going through, sometimes the sort of things that you wouldn’t want to discuss with your family and friends because it might be too upsetting.

“I can’t thank the Stretford shoppers enough for helping me raise this money for a centre which has played such an important part in my battle against cancer.

“It was lovely to be handing the money over and it was my way of saying thank you for what they have done for me.”

Lindsay Stones, administration manager for Macmillan Wellbeing Centre, said: “At the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre we are delighted to have been able to support Shirley, and for her to offer to fundraise for us in this way is much appreciated and we are extremely grateful.

“The centre relies on charitable funds so that we can continue to provide this service for others.

“The Macmillan Wellbeing Centre provides short term support to patients, their families and carers who are experiencing difficulties with a diagnosis of cancer or other life limiting illness. We offer a welcoming environment where professional staff tailor support focussed on individual needs.

“We wish Shirley good health and much happiness in the future.”