An Introductory Blog - By Diane Leopard

Home is in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire with my husband Peter. I have two children, three step-children, 4 grandchildren, 3 step grandchildren and my lovely mum. We are quite widespread with some family here in Stoke and others in South Wales and Somerset. I absolutely love spending time with them all, helping with school runs and looking after mum. Peter & I enjoy exploring in our motorhome both in the UK and France. I am a clinical complementary therapist working with cancer patients and people with long term illnesses. I enjoy music (of all genres), going to the theatre, photography and writing poetry. In 2013 aged 49 I was devastated when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, fortunately treatment went well and in July 2013 after 3 years studying I graduated from Staffordshire University with a distinction in the Foundation Degree for Clinical Complementary Therapy I co-founded Hands 4 Wellbeing in 2001 our aim was to provide affordable and accessible treatment for cancer patients and people with long term illness. Our hard work was rewarded 2015 we were presented with a national Prize for Excellence in Practice by the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) – the largest professional body for therapists in the UK and in 2017 I was a finalist in the FHT Therapist of the Year awards. I was so honoured when I was awarded the prize I decided to buy a keepsake and bought a camera. Since then I have taken a series of nature photographs to represent the emotional impact of cancer called ‘Focus on Emotions’. This represents not only my story but also emotions and feelings that have been shared by other cancer patients and my family. This is has been overwhelmingly popular and I will share more about that in future posts, but you can read about it in an interview I did with Sonya of Babababoon based in North Staffordshire I am also the Wellbeing therapist for the MS Society in North Staffordshire and have delivered several Wellbeing and self-care presentations for Breast Cancer Care, Wellbeing and Mindfulness in our local primary school (aged 3-12), and do breast awareness promotion at events for our local breast cancer support group Pink Sisters, write as a guest blogger and have appeared on UK Health Radio talking about Cancer and Complementary Therapies. I am very passionate about the benefits of therapies and self-care and with that in mind I have written my first blog post for Beauty Despite Cancer talking about ‘What is Complementary Therapy’ which talks about how cancer patients can feel more confident about having therapy and how to find the right therapist. As October is breast cancer awareness month I would like to close with a reminder to you all ABC …… A – Attend for your mammogram B – Breasts, check regularly C – Call your doctor if you notice any changes. Early diagnosis is the best way to improve the outcome of cancer so spread this message to all your family and friends – it just might save someone’s life. Diane x Email –

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