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198. Writing a letter to a stranger

A few years ago I was at an event organised by my friend Jude Habib and an amazing woman called Alison took to the stage and told her story.


When her friend Brian was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010 she had offered to write letters to cheer him up. Over the next two years, as Brian’s cancer moved from stage III to IV, Alison’s letters kept on coming. The letters became part of Brian’s recovery process, while Alison discovered a passion for writing she never knew existed.

Together they started 'From Me To You' which encourages letter writing to cancer patients to help fend off isolation. They also suggest you can write a letter which will be sent to a hospitalised cancer patient at random, someone you don't know but who might really value the lift it gives them.

Hearing her talk about this initiative I fell in love with it and vowed to get involved but then work got busy, life got in the way and I forgot. Something a friend said recently jogged my memory and I emailed to apply for a writing pack.

Writing the letter was pretty difficult, not wanting to offend, assume or preach but to lighten someone's day when you don't know what makes them tick is tricky. But I think I managed it and my letter is winging its way to Alison now for her to read and then distribute.

It's a really lovely feeling knowing I might help someone feel a little lighter.


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