One of the presenters of an award-winning podcast will be urging visitors attending the wellness event of the year to break down the taboo of cancer and put their health first.
Lauren Mahon is one of the hosts of ‘You, Me and the Big C’ with Deborah James and Steve Bland – husband of the show’s creator Rachael, who died last September from incurable breast cancer.
Lauren has been in remission from breast cancer for two years after being diagnosed when she was aged just 31 despite there being no family history of the disease.
She will be among the high-profile speakers at the Being Well Festival at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on Thursday 24 October which aims to promote happier, healthier lives by educating people about their health and general wellness.
Lauren said: “I believe the conversation around cancer is still very much taboo. While we have started to break that down by more women self-examining and being conscious of their body so they know what is normal for them, being diagnosed with cancer early is the best form of defence.
“If you are going to get diagnosed it is best to be diagnosed early because the survival rate if cancer is caught early is better than if you just ignore the symptoms.
“When I do talks throughout the country about cancer, I have met people afterwards who said they had a problem and had got it checked out and had been given the all-clear or had been diagnosed early.
“It is part of our wellbeing to manage our own health and that will be one of my messages at the Being Well Festival.”
The Being Well event will give visitors the opportunity to shop at a ‘wellbeing marketplace’, take part in activities and taster sessions, receive one-to-one advice on health and wellbeing and attend a special ticketed lunch.
Breast Cancer Haven, which will benefit from funds raised throughout the day, operates from seven locations across the UK and provides emotional, physical and practical support for anyone affected by breast cancer including one-to-one therapy and counselling for family and friends.
Being Well is one of the themes of the popular podcast along with how society thinks and talks about cancer as well as the honest experiences of the presenters.
“The response has been amazing,” Lauren said. “Not only has it been a cathartic experience for me, by chatting with Deborah, Rachael and now Steve, it has helped us process the thoughts and feelings that we go through.
“What comes across on the podcast is authentic because it is just us chatting, it isn’t scripted.
“We talk about cancer as if we’re discussing EastEnders. I think people need that because when you are in hospital, everything is cold and clinical and you want someone to tell it how it is.
“The podcast gives people a safe place. If they find it difficult to speak to family and friends, they can put on their headphones when they are walking to work and this can help them and feel like they have got support.
“We have also had an incredible response from medical professionals. I have had a huge amount of oncology and specialist nurses say thank-you because it has helped their understanding of patient care and what patients need.
“When people go into a room with doctors and nurses they are scared and might say something different to their mates down the pub and we are like their mates down the pub.”
The event is free but visitors will need to book tickets
Visit beingwellfestival.co.uk to find out more.