Leader: ‘Maggie’s is a real lifeline to families’

Maggie's Centre at the Western opened in 1996.
Maggie's Centre at the Western opened in 1996.
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THere won’t be many people who will not heard of the extraordinary work of Maggie’s Centres.

From the very first opening at the Western General in 1996, the charity has grown to open 19 centres across the UK and beyond. Its 20th centre is due to open soon, appropriately in its 20th year.

Put simply, Maggie’s does everything the NHS and medical experts cannot following the devastation of a cancer diagnosis.

That could be just a friendly face and a cup of tea, space to think, or the chance to chat with people who have been on the same journey.

It’s also a lifeline to families of patients who can be just as confused and often terrified about what lies ahead.

Maggie’s makes it all just a little bit more bearable.

Today we help launch the Buy a Brick campaign to raise money for a vital extension to the original Maggie’s Centre at the Western.

We’re aiming for £750,000, we’d like a million.

The appeal is headed by the remarkable Lisa Stephenson who has herself raised a stunning £700,000 for Maggie’s after turning her own shock diagnosis into a bundle of positive energy.

She tells us today: “Cancer is a really lonely journey, no matter how much friends and family support you have.

“Maggie’s is that place where you feel safe.

“That first time was like coming home. It just felt right. All of a sudden I thought, you know what, it’s going to be okay.”

There are around 4,300 new cancer diagnoses in Lothian each year and the number of cases is on the rise.

Maggie’s will be there for them as it has been for Lisa and for so many others.

Now is the time for us to be there for this incredible organisation.

Full details on how to donate to the appeal can be found on page 6 today.