Handwritten letters for those living with cancer

A woman writing a letter on her sofa and smiling

Few things are more isolating in life than living with a life-threatening illness; even those with a support network of family and friends around them can feel alone in company as people may tread on eggshells around them, treat them as a patient at all times, or choose not to share news with them like they usually would (deeming it as unimportant compared to their illness).

Friends and family of those living with cancer may struggle with knowing what to say for the best, treat the individual differently, or avoid calling or visiting because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing.

It is a tough time for everyone involved. However, what is hard to say in person can be much easier to say in a letter, and this brings me nicely onto From Me to You — a charity dedicated to supporting those living with cancer.

What is From Me to You?

From Me To You is a charity that organises a letter-writing service between cancer patients, their friends and family, and strangers.

Letter-writing can be beneficial for those living with cancer and their friends and families for many reasons, including the below:

  • A letter on the doormat is far more positive than a bill.
  • A letter is more personal than a text message or email.
  • Difficult emotions and feelings can be tackled in a letter easier than when you are face-to-face.
  • A letter can be opened whenever the recipient would like to open it.
  • Letter-writing is good for mental health.
  • Letters are physical — unlike emails or text messages — and engage the senses of touch and smell.
  • Letters can be taken anywhere — a park bench, the hospital, or a beach, for example.
  • Letter-writing takes time and is, therefore, a gift of love.
  • Letter-writing offers the opportunity to slow down and reflect.

How does the letter-writing service work?

A smiling woman reading a letter with a dog

From Me To You offers two services.

If you are living with cancer, you can request a Happy Box from the charity here, and you can choose how often you would like to receive a letter from a stranger. You will also receive a free letter writing set to get you started with writing your own letters to other people living with cancer.

If you’d like to donate a letter to someone in hospital who is living with cancer or someone who has requested a letter, then you can send them directly to the charity via the details here.

Lucy is our lead editor and has been passionate about stationery since childhood. She has a particular fondness for rollerball and calligraphy pens and is a keen advocate of snail mail.

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