A simple letter can help cancer patients escape from loneliness

A new campaign is encouraging people to support cancer patients through the power of words.

Alison and Brian went through a hard but treature journey with letters making them more close to each other.

Alison started writing letters to her friend Brian when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010. These letters helped Brian through his recovery process, while Alison discovered her passion for writing.

“A letter is a physical presence [of somebody] in someone’s life,” said Alison, founder of From Me To You.

Four years on, Brian is cancer-free and Alison became an author. They have organized a national charity – From Me To You, working on getting more people to write letters.

This month they are launching a nationwide Postcard Design Campaign to encorage people join them.

Top four winner will be put in the debut box of Spotlight Stationery’s new Spotlight Postbox, which designed for letter writers includes stuff more than postcards, stickers, stationery paper and pens in each box.

All entries except for the top four will be included in donated letters being sent to those living with cancer. And every sale of the Spotlight Postbox will donate to the charity and further promote the project of donating letters to cancer patients.

“Cancer has left me feeling isolated and cut off from normal life. A letter arriving can change everything about my day,” said Dawn to From Me To You. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.

“It is something we can touch and have a connection with the sender. Overtime your eyes happen to the letters you receive. You’ll think of the person who sent it, what they said, the energy they gave you.”

“While in this age of digital communication, other than letters we have no communication which involves the sense of touch, never more so over the last year when a touch has become very difficult.”

“The sense of touch can release oxytocin, the chemical which brings comfort”, said Alison. Compared with other communication media, it can bring a more complete sensory experience and greater happiness.

A poem from Emily’s letter to a cancer patient. Evey litter things from life are worth sharing, it’s a light to bring them to escape from illness even one moment.

Something as simple as receiving a letter can make the world a difference to a friend or family member suffering from cancer, said Alison.

The treatment process is painful, but sometimes it the greatest torture is boundless isolation and loneliness. According to Macmillan cancer support, aloneness in cancer groups are more frequent then we thought.

From letter to letter, writers’ time and kindness will bring no more but great joy to different people with only the cost of a stamp.

Although this is a one-way gift, the warmth of letters weaves an invisible protective spell, reducing social isolation and loneliness so often associated with cancer.

Cancer took Maria’s granny. She and her mum Helena found From Me to You on their trip from Holland, to pass on their love and miss to more suffered people. Letters make legends. Photo by From Me To You at 15th Oct. 2019.

“We can’t revisit a phone call in the same way, [but] letters cry out to be reread for pleasure–there’s always something more to discover a second time around,” said Alison, “Our charity tackles isolation.”

There are few ways to learn how the everyday person lived, loved and lost, according to Alison, the sharing of small details of life is irreplaceable pieces of history.

Up to now, over 100 people have already took part in the initiative.

Six Tips from Alison about how to write a good letter.