1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime*.
In 2018 Fler Wright faced her own devastating cancer diagnosis.
As a result of discovering how little support there was for families, Fler and husband Justin set up a charity to help them through their cancer journey in a practical way.
Embracing the family ethos of "We Only Live Once" (WOLO), their charity was born and has effectively provided valuable assistance and encouragement to families in Sussex ever since. Collaborating closely with local enterprises and communities, WOLO has curated an array of services aimed at aiding families throughout their diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. The focus remains on enhancing their daily lives and alleviating challenges along the way.
Thanks to a grant** from Focus Foundation, WOLO was able to host a pilot 3-day residential wellness course. A mixture of families attended, some had their own diagnosis having active treatment, some were now cancer free, others had a partner or child who had been diagnosed. A typical day included movement, breathwork, cold immersion, meditation, TRE (tension and trauma releasing exercises), nourishing food, journaling, downtime and socially connected learning.
After the residential course, quality of life and emotional health and wellbeing was rated as 7 and above out of 10 (previously 7 or under) by 100% of attendees. In 3 short days, the course had made a real difference to the participants lives.
Connection didn't stop there and continued thereafter with twice-weekly zoom sessions for 6 weeks to help embed practice into daily routines and introduce new techniques, then followed by one final face-to-face meet up to re-evaluate, reflect, and connect.
One participant commented: 'Coming on the course was amazing. It was so nice to meet a group of people who really knew about suffering and the kind of challenges you face. It made such a difference. Connection was a massive thing. Some time out was really restorative and lovely. The techniques were really incredible’.
Another commented: ‘It really offered the time and space for me to go back and revisit the difficult experiences I’ve been through with my cancer treatment with like-minded people in a space that felt supportive and loving. It was a space to truly come back to myself and relax. Going forward I’ve learnt so many tools to help me manage difficult situations in my life and help balance and calm my mind. It’s such a well-thought-out programme.’
As the course was such a huge success the next has already been scheduled to start in October 2023.
Our best wishes go out to Fler, Justin, and the entire WOLO team as they continue on their inspiring journey.
Source * www.cancerresearchuk.org
**Focus Foundation awarded a grant of £9,985 to WOLO as a beneficiary of the Focus Foundation Winter Ball 2023.