In our refresh of the Stand Up To Cancer Care Package, we’ve worked with five new contributors who have put together packages and suggested new products that offered them comfort or TLC. Our next two excellent humans are Leanne Pero and Darren Roberts.

Meet Leanne Pero

Leanne Pero is many amazing things – an award-winning entrepreneur, community champion, author and charity founder. She is also a breast cancer survivor. In 2016 Leanne was diagnosed with breast cancer, just days after her 31st Birthday and underwent eight gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and a bilateral mastectomy. Feeling excluded and underrepresented in mainstream cancer support groups, she created the Black Women Rising support group to provide a free, safe space for women of colour to come together and talk openly about their experiences.

Leanne’s choices:

Brown Bag Crisps because ‘crisps are my favourite things in the world and anything tangy really helped my taste buds through treatment.’

Martha Brook London notebook because ‘ I always had a note book by my side to just offload thoughts – it really helped.’

The Yes Mum Affirmation cards as ‘small reminders that we need to read on a daily basis when going through something like cancer.’

Bampton House cuticle oil as cuticle oil made a real difference to Leanne’s nails during treatment,
and finally a NIO Daiquiri cocktail as she really found it hard no being able to socialise and drink with friends as she did before, ‘any sort of normality to be able to socialise (when I could) through treatment was welcomed, these are great alternatives.’

You can find out more about Leanne and her work on Instagram or @blackwomenrisinguk 

Meet Darren Roberts

Darren Roberts is husband to Nicola, dog-dad to Margot and was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in September 2016. Since then he has undergone various different procedures and regimes including major organ surgery, radiotherapy and cutting edge immunotherapy treatments under the care of the Royal Marsden in Chelsea. He is currently being treated for metastatic kidney cancer which is now incurable.

Darren shares his experiences of cancer and treatment on his Instagram account in a frank and open way that we so rarely see from men. Nothing is off-bounds, he talks about the highs, the lows, the anger, the despair but also the love and joy he gets from life with Nicola and Margot. We are certain he is a source of great comfort and solidarity too many, as well as being bloody funny.

Darren’s choices:

One Green Bottle water bottle because ‘I have been told by my hospital team (and wife!) that I do not drink enough water so I wanted to get a stylish lightweight bottle I can carry everywhere with me so I have no excuse.’

Spacemasks Self-Heating Eye Mask because these ‘masks are magic and the perfect stress relief’. He’s also a big fan of Harriet, the founder of Spacemasks, and her ability to make him laugh.

NIO cocktails espresso martini because ‘My drinking days are pretty much over but I do still enjoy a cheeky espresso martini as a treat at the end of a meal if I am out for dinner.’

Similar to a few of our contributors, Darren also chose This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray because, ‘My wife Nicola introduced me to this wonderful pillow spray – it always aids a restful night’s sleep.’

COOK Kitchen meal vouchers because ‘There are some days where the prospect of cooking a delicious and hearty meal from scratch is just too overwhelming.’

On behalf of Darren, we would also like to promote the work of the Royal Marsden Hospital as well as Kidney Cancer and their ‘Fight Bladder Cancer’ campaign #fightbladdercancer.

Visit the New and Improved Stand Up To Cancer Care Package