A new award celebrating remarkable people doing incredible things in the cancer community has announced its winners, and blogger and author Jackie Buxton is one of them.
Buxton, from Harrogate, has been awarded the Best Cancer Book prize for her 2015 book, Tea & Chemo: Fighting Cancer, Living Life, at the inaugural Spotlight Awards by Live Better With.
Tea & Chemo is full of laughter, tears, honesty and hope, and offers inspirational words to everyone facing the life challenges that cancer inevitably brings.
At the age of 45, wife and mother Jackie Buxton was diagnosed with breast cancer. Determined to learn as much as possible about her condition, Buxton devoured patient information leaflets and online articles. But what she really wanted to read was the account of an ordinary person being treated for cancer who, crucially, emerged on the other side still smiling.
I felt there was brilliant information from Macmillan and the hospital I needed on everything I needed to know factually. So I had no complaints finding that sort of information. But I wanted to find positive stories straight from the horse’s mouth. And they probably were on there online, but I was really scared of looking online because I didn’t want to find anything I didn’t want to read.
Unable to find anything, the mother-of-two decided to do what she does best: write. Detailing her experiences in a blog, she soon found that people began to write to her saying that her blog had helped them in their own struggle with cancer. Delighted to be having an impact on others, Jackie realised that she had much more to say.
People kept saying ‘you should get it published, you should make it into a book,’ but I thought people could read it online so there would be no need for a book.
I suppose with the blog, the posts were very much in the moment, it was really a bird’s eye view of how it felt to be going through treatment and all the emotions attached to the treatment and the side effects. A few months on, after the active treatment, I felt like I had a lot more to add, almost a hindsight view. And because I had met a lot of other people along the way, and heard their views and opinions, I could use that to add a bit more depth.
And so Tea & Chemo was born.
The award-winning blogger was treated at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s very own Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, and to give something back to the team who supported her so well, a third of the book profits are donated to the centre.
On the book’s success, Buxton said:
Two years later, I’m still getting feedback from people which is lovely. Getting the feedback, that’s the best thing. For people to take the time and try and find me online and message me to say ‘thank you, this book really helped’, that’s what I dared to hope, but I didn’t assume it at all. I just dared to hope it would help and be useful, and it seems that it has been, and continues to do so.
The first of its kind, the Spotlight Awards shine a light on the achievements of truly remarkable people, products, and services in the cancer community. Nominated by the public, and voted by a panel of expert judges, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from across the world.
The Spotlight Awards have been organised by Live Better With, an award-winning online platform where cancer patients and their loved ones can find products and information to help with the symptoms and side effects of living with cancer.
Sarah Grant, Macmillan Patient Information and Health & Wellbeing Manager, The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, Harrogate:
We are delighted Jackie has won this award. Her book is truly inspirational written with such positivity, humour and hope. We are really proud to know the care and support Jackie received here at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre made such a difference to her experience.
Live Better With Spotlight Award – Full winners list
- BEST BLOGGER Beth Semikin of Tumour Has It
- BEST BOOK Tea & Chemo by Jackie Buxton
- BEST SUPPORT GROUP Younger Breast Cancer Network (YBCN)
- BEST SERVICE Together Against Cancer (TAC)
- BEST SKINCARE PRODUCT Defiant Beauty
- BEST HAIR LOSS PRODUCT Chemo Headwear
- BEST COMBATING NAUSEA PRODUCT Sea-Bands
- BEST BEING COMFORTABLE PRODUCT Care + Wear PICC Line Cover
- BEST MIND & BRAIN PRODUCT (joint winners) Badger Balm Calming Mind Balm andThe Cancer Comfort Gift Hamper by CancerCareParce
- BEST EATING WELL PRODUCT The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook by Dr Clare Shaw
- BEST MASTECTOMY PRODUCT Knitted Knockers
REMARKABLE PERSON (Five winners)
- Charlotte Wood, founder of Drain Dollies
- Sarah Jane Thomson, Specialist nurse at Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow
- Sophie Trew, Vlogger and founder of Trew Fields Festival
- Becki McGuinness, Blogger and cancer and fertility campaigner
- Diane Redington, Founder of the GCS Project