Miriam, aged 72, will shortly be joining Chester Centre, part of the Stretford Sports Village, with a graduate membership after completing both a three-month cancer and a two-month active referral programme.

In January 2017 Miriam noticed that her stomach was swollen and that she was suffering with upset stomachs. She went to her GP who referred her to Trafford. The following month, Miriam underwent surgery at Manchester Royal Infirmary, where a four-hour procedure removed half of her colon. This was followed by six months of chemotherapy.

Miriam says: “I was given the all clear in September 2017 and I was naturally delighted. But my overall health had taken a beating. I’d always been quite fit in the past, enjoying walks with my husband, but after my treatment I couldn’t walk for more than five minutes without feeling exhausted and out of breath. I had to start using an inhaler and I had put on three stone in weight. I just didn’t recognise myself. The cancer had gone, but I felt worse than ever.”

The MacMillan Centre in Manchester initially referred Miriam to Trafford Leisure in October 2017. James Jackson, Active Living Manager says: “I first received Miriam’s referral in the Autumn of last year, but at that time she didn’t feel ready for the challenge and it’s not my place to force her. However, by January she was keen for a fresh start and came to Chester Centre for her induction. I’ve really enjoyed working with Miriam. We have had a real giggle together whilst designing a unique and personal fitness programme for her.”

He continues: “I wanted to increase Miriam’s general health and her exercise plan focused on her strength, movement and cardio. Our main objective at the time was to stop her from being so out of breath. Miriam now uses much of the gym equipment, including the treadmill and bikes, plus she has recently started simple circuit classes and swimming. I’m really impressed, she’s worked so hard.”

Miriam goes on to say: “I had never stepped foot inside a gym before, I’d never fancied it and I assumed it wasn’t for people ‘like me’. But I love it here. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. I’ve met lots of like-minded people and often use the centre’s café to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and have a chat with new friends. The entire experience has been beneficial and I feel so positive for my future. I’m feeling stronger, I’m sleeping better, I’ve toned up and I’m much less out of breath going up the stairs.”

Miriam is keen to start her graduate membership and wants to continue using the Chester Centre at least three times a week. She will be having further surgery in November 2018 for a stomach hernia and her consultant has deliberately delayed this procedure until late autumn to allow Miriam more time to prepare her fitness for the operation and to lose some weight.

James Jackson says: “Miriam and her consultant are concerned that further surgery will knock her fitness levels again, so I will be creating a new regime to get her even fitter and slimmer for her surgery. This will make the procedure less risky and will speed up and aid her post-operative recovery.”


Heather Gaulton

Marketing Content Manager


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