LIFESTYLE
30/01/2018 00:02 GMT | Updated 30/01/2018 16:02 GMT

8 People On How Kindness Changed Their Life After A Cancer Diagnosis

'One of them sat with me, holding my hand while they cut my hair.'

Eight people have opened up about acts of kindness they experienced following a cancer diagnosis - and their stories will restore your faith in humanity.

One woman, Pravina, revealed that on the day she was due to have her hair cut really short, staff at her local hair salon closed up for the morning and devoted the entire time to her. 

“One of them sat with me, holding my hand while they cut my hair,” she explained. “That was one of the nicest things anyone’s ever done.”

Another cancer patient, Sara, revealed that her neighbours would send her a batch of homemade meals every time she had chemo. 

“They would literally just pop them under the fence at my house,” she said. “So there was no intrusion, no song and dance about it. That was one of the kindest things that ever happened.”

Ahead of World Cancer Day on Sunday 4 Feb, Macmillan Cancer Support, the charity that produced the video, hopes to highlight the impact that little acts of kindness can have on those living with cancer.

Doug, who previously opened up about his breast cancer experience and mastectomy scars in a HuffPost UK video (watch it here), said shortly after he was diagnosed, the leader of his band wrote a song about the importance of breast checks for men.

“He played it to me and I cried my eyes out,” he recalled.

Macmillan also conducted research which found many women are turning to social media to boost their self-esteem during what is an especially difficult time. Of those gaining a boost from social media, more than one in three (35%) said it takes their mind off their illness and half (50%) said it helps restore some normality into their lives.

Audrey Allan, 36, from Glasgow, underwent breast cancer treatment and started a blog about cancer to share what she was going through. She said: “Now I’ve been in touch with so many people going through the same experience – people as far away as America and Mexico.

“Making these connections has really helped me cope with the stress of cancer and made me feel less alone. The support and encouragement I received through my Instagram page has kept me going through this whole rollercoaster.”

Dany Bell, Treatment and Recovery Specialist Advisor at Macmillan Cancer Support, told HuffPost UK: “Little acts of kindness can make a real difference to people who’ve had a cancer diagnosis. When you find out you have cancer, it can feel as though your whole world is falling apart, so having a friend to drop a meal off or reach out with a kind word can really lift someone’s spirits.

“Everyone who goes through cancer will have different needs but kind gestures can go a long way in making someone feel supported and loved through their own experience. Don’t underestimate the value of reaching out.”

Everyone hates January. The post-Christmas comedown hits us hard, especially with 2017 being such a tough year. Kindness 31 is our antidote to that. Every day we’ll share a good news story about someone (or a group of people) and their act of kindness or how they helped others. If you want to get involved, email ukblogteam@huffpost.com. Alternatively if you’d like to nominate someone to be featured, fill in this form.