A cancer support group from Garston celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this month.
The Garston Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Support roup, which meets on the first Tuesday of every month, celebrated its fifth anniversary and marked the annual Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday, July 4.
Set up by Linda Charalambous, a nurse who specialises in supporting people with lung cancer from Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals, the group supports as many as 40 patients, relatives, friends and carers, offering them all the opportunity to support one another and share stories at meetings.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the organs and West Hertordshire Hospitals NHS Trust says that nearly 2,500 people are diagnosed with it each year in the UK.
Ms Charalambous said: "We are very proud of our group and its success. "There is a lot of stigma attached to lung cancer and mesothelioma but we want to focus on the positives and the people who survive and live with the condition. It’s a friendly group which offers peer support to other people with the same condition.
"We send out monthly invites to all our patients who have been diagnosed with lung cancer and mesothelioma. Their friends, families and carers are welcome to attend too."
The group has previously received talks from specialist cancer doctors, physiotherapists and solicitors.
Talks help patients with things such as nutrition, healthy walking, lifestyles and making wills.