Alexandra battles back to boost her Abbeymead business
RECOVERING breast cancer patient Alexandra Harper has battled against the odds to not only put the nightmare behind her, but also rebuild her Abbeymead business.
Alexandra, 58, set up her hypnotherapy clinic at her home in Abbeymead nearly two years ago, but soon afterwards she was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer.
The mum of two's sister and grandmother both passed away from the illness but her mother also managed to fight it off.
She said: "My business was just starting to take off and I was feeling incredibly healthy, fit and positive about the future.
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"The diagnosis turned everything on its head. I had little choice but to concentrate on surviving and beating the cancer, so I was unable to work whilst undergoing treatment.
"It was a huge wake-up call and made me realise how much I relied on being able to work and earn enough money to live on.
"I was able to claim Employment and Support Allowance, but once my treatment came to an end and I was in remission, I needed to think about returning to work.
"I have always been very positive about the work I do, I love it and have trained hard to get where I am, but I was quite worried about being able to pick up where I had left off.
"I had the dreaded feeling that I would be forced to give up my hopes and dreams and be pushed back into nine to five paid for employment. For 15 years I had been in office work and I really didn't want to go back to it."
Alexandra received help from Prospect Training Services (PTS) to get the business back on track.
"They have worked with me to set realistic achievable goals," added Alexandra.
"Within a short space of time I had business cards, leaflets, a new website underway and a regular therapy clinic at the Quedgeley Community Centre.
The team at PTS are continuing to support Alexandra by helping her with ideas and contacts, so that she can continue to grow and expand her business Motivation 4 NLP.
Lorraine Bruton, employment support officer at PTS, said: "I could see the passion she had for her business and that she wanted to fight through everything she had gone through to achieve her long-term goal.
"For obvious reasons Alexandra had lost all her confidence and self-esteem, but we knew straight away that with the right support she could do it."