with Tasha Gandamihardja

Helen Traill

Helena Traill

My Breast My Health

S1 Ep8: Let’s talk about cancer – Helena Traill

In today’s episode, I talk to Helena Traill. Helena is a graphic designer, who discovered how talking about cancer can be a powerful thing.

Whilst studying Graphic Design at Central St Martins in London, Helena had created animated stories that were linked to her own struggles. One was about the panic attacks that she was experiencing having witnessed her father’s epileptic fits due to his brain tumours. The other about her ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) which many people didn’t believe she had. Through these creations, she realised that using the medium of art, difficult and truthful stories can be shared that can help people in so many different ways. This was the catalyst for her to tackle the big-C as she puts it and decided to make it her graduate thesis project.

Helena’s aim was to tell cancer stories. She reached out to friends and before she knew it, she had conducted numerous face to face interviews and connected with over 200 people. From this, she created one story animation and collected all the stories into one book. The feedback for her project was so overwhelmingly positive that Helena realised she needs to continue the work beyond her thesis project.

The result is the 100 Stories book which contains accounts from 100 people narrating their own cancer stories. In this podcast episode, we talk more about Helena’s journey making this book and why she feels opening up discussions surrounding talking about cancer is so important. We also discussed how powerful the medium of social media can be in connecting people with cancer and help build communities and provide helpful resources and signposting.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

You can connect with Helena @100storiesbook.

Other resources mentioned include: Maggies Centre and Cancer on Board.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out my conversation with Sara Liyanage. Here we talk about her breast cancer diagnosis, how she coped with her chemotherapy treatment, and how she created a website and wrote a book to help others going through the same experience. Listen here.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this podcast and website is not a substitute for seeking medical advice from a healthcare professional. Please do not delay in seeing a doctor for a breast problem, because of what you have read on this website or heard on this podcast.

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