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Norwich man describes ‘worst day of his life’ when he discovered his mother had cancer - as his employer pledges support for Norfolk charity

Chris Wiseman at Steeplechase 2017, Great Witchingham. Photo: Big C/Julian Claxton Photographer

Chris Wiseman at Steeplechase 2017, Great Witchingham. Photo: Big C/Julian Claxton Photographer

Copyright (c) Julian Claxton Photography 2017.

A company has lent its support to a Norfolk cancer charity after a staff member’s mother was diagnosed with the disease.

Quotatis, a consumer and business quotation company based in Horsham St Faith, has named Big C as their official partner for 2017/18.

The decision is poignant for many of the team whose family members have been affected by cancer.

But particularly for digital marketing manager Chris Wiseman, 32, who lost his grandad to the disease in 2011 and is currently supporting his mother Debbie through her fight with cancer.

Mr Wiseman said: “My grandad lost his second battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010 and during this time, Big C was a godsend to my parents when grandad died.”

Four years later, mother-of-two Mrs Wiseman, 58, was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine check.

Her diagnosis was quick and she was able to catch it very early on.

“When I first heard about her diagnosis I was devastated,” Mr Wiseman, who lives in Bowthorpe, said. “I’ll always remember having to have that conversation with her; it was one of the worst days of my life. It meant a massive change for her.

“In addition to dealing with the cancer, there were complications with her diabetes and it really put a lot of stress on my mum.

“However, during my mum’s radiotherapy sessions she attended one of the Big C’s Look Good, Feel Better pamper sessions and came away feeling invigorated for her battle ahead and both of my parents have been treated to relaxing massages.

“Whenever I’ve spoken to mum after a visit to the Big C Centre, she’s always come away feeling a million dollars.

“I’m thankful to the Big C for putting a smile on my mum’s face.”

A year later, after a course of radiotherapy and other treatments, Mrs Wiseman, who also lives in Bowthorpe, was in remission.

However, she was then told she had secondary cancer in both lungs, something that, whilst manageable with drugs and treatment, is not curable.

Mr Wiseman said: “More recently Big C has been a big help with my mum getting travel insurance so she can actually have a holiday overseas.

“Going away on holiday every year has always been special to my mum and more so now than ever.

“However, having terminal cancer makes things complicated.

“Big C has found various places she can go that will allow her to have that all-important travel insurance cover.

“So now, for two weeks in the year, my mum can feel normal.

“She ensures that she delays her treatment whilst she’s on holiday which means she can be free of side effects and enjoy herself, and once she’s home, her treatment re-begins.

“As you can imagine her holiday is a big thing for her.”

And Mr Wiseman has had support himself too.

He said: “I think the biggest thing is knowing there’s always somewhere you can go to get some advice and enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit, to simply talk with people who understand what you are going through, which actually makes all the difference in the world.

“Knowing someone is there has been a big support in itself.

“I’ve struggled with depression since mum has been diagnosed and Big C has helped me a lot.

“They know exactly what I’m talking about.

“All my friends have been great but they don’t know what it’s like to go through something like this so it’s been good to have someone who understands.”

The team at Quotatis has already raised a significant amount of money for Big C this year through its involvement in challenges including the Great Witchingham Steeplechase Derby and National Three Peaks.

Jack Lenton, sales manager, said: “Like so many, several of our team members have had close family members affected by cancer and we therefore feel very close to Big C, who do so much to help those in our community.

“We wanted to extend our support by naming Big C as our official charity and to work closely with them to do what we can to raise funds by challenging ourselves as a team.”

• To learn more about the work Big C does to improve the lives of those affected by cancer in Norfolk and Waveney, or to find out how to access support at Big C centres, please visit www.big-c.co.uk

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