A Hackthorn woman has praised the work done to help her live life to the full after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Cathy Andrews, 61, worked as an assistant cook for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
After a course of treatment and a failed colostomy, Cathy received the most devastating news of all – the cancer was terminal and she had just two years to live.
“I was determined to live each day to the full and to spend as much time as possible with the people I love,” said Cathy.
“It was then that I began to think about early retirement, but I was worried about how I would cope financially.
“Living with a terminal diagnosis is stressful enough without the additional burden of money worries.”
This is where the welfare benefits team at St Barnabas stepped in and took that worry away.
“Their wealth of knowledge about the complexities of the benefits system was astounding and they were able to help me fill out the forms and make the necessary phone calls on my behalf,” she added.
“The wonderful thing is they kept in regular contact and always followed through with their promises. If they said they would call you back at a certain time, they did.
“I know it sounds small but reliability is really important at a time when everything around you seems uncertain.”
With the help of the team at St Barnabas, Cathy began to receive her weekly payments, giving her the financial security she needed.
Their continued support also meant they were able to identify the benefits she was receiving were incorrect and they were able to rectify this on her behalf.
“The money they were able to secure has made a real difference to my life; it is the difference between existing and really living,” said Cathy.
“It has given me the freedom to be able to visit my children and grandchildren without the worry of how I will pay for it.
“I can’t thank the team at St Barnabas enough for all their care and support.
“Their reassurance that they will help me through this challenging time made a real difference to me and my life.
“It is because of them that I am getting to spend what time I have left with the people who matter the most.”
Many people do not receive payments they are entitled to because they believe their income or savings are too high. However, a lot of benefits are not means tested and can be paid regardless of financial circumstances.
For information and advice, call the welfare benefits team on 01476 513 544.