I’m a writer who is passionate about health and wellbeing. For me, creativity is at the heart of being well.
I’ve ghostwritten books for older people and run groups among cancer patients and dementia sufferers to help them uncover the therapeutic value of writing for themselves. I love combining writing with the outdoors: I’ve held festival workshops with children about ghosts and legends at Goonhilly on the Lizard Peninsula, and writing groups with adults that celebrate history, place and story in the ancient Cornish village of Penryn. I have also written for Radio 4’s programme From Our Home Correspondent exploring the healing power of legend, landscape and theatre in Tehidy Woods on the rugged north coast.
As part of my own health journey, I am writing a book that’s part memoir, part history, part fairytale. Mermaids and Monsters is the story of 200 years of breast cancer surgery, an exploration inspired by my own mastectomy and reconstruction and a quest to put my experience into perspective. I have watched my surgeon in theatre, created “Operation Orange” workshops demonstrating mastectomies on oranges, trawled through archives looking for nineteenth-century women’s experiences, and blogged about my findings (http://oncoplasticfruit.blogspot.com). I have been featured on BBC radio, and the Royal College of Surgeons has written about my work here. I am passionate about translating medical writing and making it more accessible for all, and have recently begun working with trainee doctors to help them do the same.