"On the most scary and difficult of days, chemo day one, this box of goodies was everything. Literally everything. I can't thank you enough for caring, so thoughtful. I've no idea of what lays ahead but gestures like this take the edge off the trauma." - Karen, February 2020, West Suffolk Hospital.
In the UK, every year approximately 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, that's one woman told every ten minutes, making it the most common cancer. There are also around 36,000 women living with a secondary breast cancer diagnosis, a recognised disability.
We’re on a mission to support these women by offering them a littlelifts box at the beginning of, or during, their chemotherapy treatment.
A special milestone
On August 12th 2020 we delivered our 500th box to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, but it also marked our 1000th box delivery across our five NHS partnerships in Norfolk and Suffolk, a huge milestone for our small (but mighty) charity.
We need you to help us reach our next milestone.
Our Founder's story - meet Oa
In 2014, at the age of 28, Oa was diagnosed with primary breast cancer. What followed was a whirlwind of emotions and medical appointments before she began her chemotherapy treatment. It was a scary time, with lots of uncertainty and an overwhelming sense of the unknown.
Leading up to and during her treatment, Oa was fortunate to have a support network of friends and family to help her along the way – lifting those down days with a few little treats to relieve some of the side effects she experienced. The impact these small tokens had on Oa's wellbeing was huge, and so the concept of the 'littlelifts box' was born.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is when cells in the breast develop in an uncontrolled way and form a tumour.
Primary breast cancer means the cancer has not spread beyond the breast or lymph nodes under the arm. It is curable.
Secondary breast cancer is when the cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes to the brain, lungs, liver and/or bones. It is incurable.
And how is it treated?
There are many different treatments, depending on the circumstances of the patient and their cancer.
Chemotherapy is one of these and it involves using chemical, systemic anti-cancer treatment (or SACT, for short). It is a very different experience for each patient and the side effects can be very unpleasant.
How we work
We work with hospitals in Norfolk and Suffolk so that women undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer can receive a littlelifts box at the start of, or during, their treatment. The fantastic Oncology and Breast Care Teams we work with give out littlelifts boxes directly to patients.
"Chemotherapy can be a gruelling time for some women. We are very medicalised and what I love about this is that it is so personal. The box is personal to the woman going through treatment and provides them with a bit of hope." - Sharon Thain, Breast Care Team Leader, JPUH
What is a littlelifts box?
We understand that every woman's experience of breast cancer and its treatment is different. Our littlelifts boxes are full of carefully selected items to help alleviate some of the side effects that women may experience during chemotherapy treatment. Each box is hand packed with love. We really care about the environment and look to source products that are locally and ethically made, re-usable, eco-friendly and organic.
Click here to find out what's in a box.
Small, but mighty
At littlelifts, we call ourselves small, but mighty! We are only a team of two (Oa and Kay) supported by a dedicated board of trustees and we certainly couldn't do what we do without the generous support of our incredible #littleliftscommunity.
We know that small gestures make a big difference to the lives of women facing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer because so many have told us so.
Right now, kindness matters
"At a time of worry and uncertainty the little lifts box was an unexpected and very welcome hug to take home." - Amy, May, 2020, West Suffolk Hospital .
Breast cancer and its treatment doesn’t stop during COVID-19 and, despite these tough times, we continue to work with our NHS partnerships across Norfolk and Suffolk so that women undergoing chemotherapy treatment for primary and secondary breast cancer can receive a littlelifts box.
Now, more than ever, our littlelifts boxes are needed because women facing cancer treatment are clinically extremely vulnerable, and therefore at high risk from COVID-19. As well as the increased risk to health, the pandemic makes access to support systems and networks more challenging.
Chemotherapy can be gruelling both physically and mentally; during these difficult times, our littlelifts boxes are making a huge difference to the lives of women.
We understand that every woman's experience of breast cancer treatment is different. That’s why littlelifts boxes are full of items carefully selected to provide women with practical support, as well as mood-boosting goodies to promote emotional wellbeing – but it isn’t just what’s inside the box that provides support. Recipients tell us that the sense of solidarity and kindness they experience is equally valuable – and right now, kindness matters.
We cannot do this alone
We are on a mission to support a further 1000 women with a littlelifts box over the next two years and with your help we can do it.
£5000 will allow us to support 50 women with a littlelifts box across our NHS partnerships in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Help us to continue supporting more women like Kim
“To receive the box made me feel that I wasn’t just surrounded by a medical team, but by people who had been through what I was about to go through. It is a box of sheer warmth and delight; it solved that very hard day for me.”
We'd love you to be part of our ever growing #littleliftscommunity! Thank you for taking the time to read about what we do.
Love from Oa and the team at littlelifts - Kay & Trustees xx
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