A 54-year-old woman living at Cavell Court has amazed fellow residents and team members with unwavering resilience in not letting her illness beat her.
Nicole De Greef was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017, and has vowed to stay strong and live her life to the full – declining any medical treatment for the disease.
Nicole (known as Nikki) moved to Cavell Court earlier this year and is an active member of the home community. She regularly supports the home’s lifestyle lead in organising and supporting on events, and spends much of her time chatting with the other residents and taking part in activities.
Since she was young, Nikki has lived an active lifestyle and loves swimming in particular. She has swum all over the world, having lived in Indonesia and Vietnam and spent holidays snorkelling in Australia.
Through conversations with Nikki, the team arranged for her to visit the UEA Sportspark pool for a morning in the pool, in the hope it would give her enjoyment but also ease some of the pains she lives with as a result of the cancer.
Speaking about the visit, Nikki said: “I’ve missed swimming so much and the feeling of freedom it provides. There is something about being in the water that makes me feel so calm and relaxed – it really is my happy place.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy battling cancer without treatment, but I want to enjoy my life while I’m still able to, so I really can’t thank the care team enough for helping me to do this. When I came to Cavell Court earlier this year I was blown away by the kindness and compassion of the whole team, and how they are all genuinely dedicated to ensuring people are treated as individuals and are able to enjoy a good quality of life.
“I want people to know that no matter your age or your condition, you can still do things you love with the proper care and support around you – be it from friends, family or wonderful carers like the lovely team at Cavell Court.
Jennie Rodger, home manager at Cavell Court, added: “Activity based care is integral to the support we provide at Cavell Court and this can mean something different for each resident. From baking sessions and craft classes, to days out and helping to make residents’ wishes come true. It’s important to us that we’re enabling residents to live a fulfilled and happy life, doing the things that they want to do."