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Center of hope and support

By Rebecca Lo | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-21 10:30

 Center of hope and support

Furnished with ponds and gardens, Maggie's center offers a private and delightful space for cancer patients to relax. Kalson Ho / For China Daily

When the Big C strikes, it is often what happens afterwards that is crucial to the patient and the patient's family. In Hong Kong, an inspirational concept has launched a place where the sick can learn to heal themselves. Rebecca Lo drops by to find out more.

Maggie Keswick Jencks first battled breast cancer with a double mastectomy. When it returned for the third time, it had spread to her liver, bones and bone marrow. Although she had their support, she knew that her husband Charles Jencks and two teenage children needed her. She vowed to battle the disease with every means possible to gain more time with her family.

Growing up between China and Scotland as the only child of John Keswick and a family of Jardine Matheson tycoons, she was familiar with the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine.

She felt that while hospitals treated the disease, there was a gap between what they could provide and the kind of emotional and psychological support that gave a patient hope.

Jencks wrote A View from the Front Line at the request of her surgeon Mike Dixon for medical journal The Breast. It is a cancer patient's firsthand account. It also sowed the seed that eventually blossomed into Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre.

Center of hope and support

Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre in Hong Kong helps patients through a variety of sessions, like yoga, nutrition and makeup classes. Photos provided to China Daily

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