Helping Hailsham cancer victim get fitter

Hailsham Leisure Centre has helped a local teenager regain her strength after treatment for cancer. SUS-140519-130724001
Hailsham Leisure Centre has helped a local teenager regain her strength after treatment for cancer. SUS-140519-130724001

A teenage girl who suffered from cancer has had a helping hand from Hailsham Leisure Centre to regain her fitness.

Chloe Matthews, 15, from Hailsham, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system – last July.

After successful chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London and Eastbourne District General Hospital, she is now in remission but was left with very low energy and little strength.

She heard about the Freedom Leisure exercise referral programme for people recovering from cancer and went along to sign up.

Chloe said: “I wasn’t very sporty before I became ill but I did like to swim and go walking with my family.

“The chemo and radiotherapy left me feeling very tired and weak and I thought the exercise programme would help.”

The scheduled sessions clashed with her school timetable so Stephanie Wadlow, Freedom Leisure GP referral coordinator, offered to train Chloe on a one-to-one basis.

Chloe added: “Steph made sure my programme fitted my exact needs and her special training in helping people with cancer gave me confidence that she understood what I needed.”

Gently using the bikes, treadmill, arm cycle machine and light weights helped Chloe to build strength in her arms and legs.

She added: “It has made a huge difference.

“After about five sessions I felt my energy return and I was able to increase the level of exercise.”

The 10-week programme prepares people to exercise independently.

She now uses the gym alongside her friends, who have taken advantage of the leisure centre’s 15-18 membership programme.

Chloe said: “I love using the gym now and follow Steph’s advice to make sure I’m challenging myself but not doing too much. I feel much fitter.”

Steph is delighted with the progress Chloe has made.

She said: “Chloe is the youngest person so far on the programme and she has done really well.

“Now her friends can join her in the gym, she has additional motivation to keep up the good work.”

The Exercise Referral Programme for cancer patients costs £45 for the 10 weeks.

To find out more or to register for the next programme please contact, or call Hailsham Leisure Centre on 01323 846755.

Freedom Leisure is committed to the provision and development of inclusive leisure and fitness facilities.