Woman with incurable breast cancer raising funds to open wellbeing centre

Lisa Fleming hopes to raise £500,000 to open Scotland's first sanctuary dedicated to women with breast cancer.

A woman with incurable breast cancer is raising money to open Scotland’s first wellbeing centre dedicated to women diagnosed with the disease.

Lisa Fleming, from Edinburgh, was given the heartbreaking news she had incurable secondary breast cancer in 2017 and has since dedicated her life to campaigning for others like her.

She and husband Euan have begun efforts to raise £500,000 and aim to open the House of Hope in October.

The couple hope to take over a former salon on St John’s Road in the Corstorphine area of the Capital.

She told STV News: “I unfortunately have watched a lot of my friends pass away to this disease. It’s them who keep me going.

“In particular, my one friend Karen, who was one of the closest friends that I made on our chemo unit.

“I made a promise to her before she passed away that I was going to keep advocating – I was going to keep shouting.

Lisa and her friend Karen

“We always used to sit and joke on the wards about having a place like the House of Hope.

“I know what a difference it’ll make to people who are yet to be diagnosed with breast cancer, those who are going through it just now, and I know what a difference it could have made to my friends who are no longer with us.”

Lisa and Euan envision the House of Hope as offering a variety of support services for people with cancer, those who were previously treated and their families.

Euan said: “It will be a central hub, where they can find a place to be themselves, they can find information about lots of activities that are going on, we’ll have wellbeing courses.

“We’re hoping to have massage rooms, places where you can come sit and relax.”

The salon’s chairs and mirrors will be perfect for wig fittings for women who have lost their hair after undergoing chemotherapy.

Lisa hopes women can come in for eyebrow tattooing and wig fitting.

Lisa said: “One of the hardest things that I found was losing my hair, and I know that might sound very trivial to some people.

“I just felt like it was taking away my femininity. It was almost like my identity was stripped back totally and that made me feel quite weak.

“There’s a lot of things we want to offer within the House of Hope, but for me this room is really quite special.

“I want women to leave feeling empowered and feeling like they’ve got the strength to take on the treatment that may lie ahead of them or that they may be going through.”

Donate or find out more at Houseofhope.org.uk.

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