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Center of hope and support

Updated: 2013-08-21 08:05
By Rebecca Lo ( China Daily)

Center of hope and support

Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre in Hong Kong helps patients through a variety of sessions, like yoga, nutrition and makeup classes. Photos provided to China Daily

Like the other centers, the architecture is inspirational. It features a large kitchen as the heart and soul of the sunlight-drenched spaces. For those needing time on their own, there are many terraces that overlook reflecting ponds and the gardens where they can contemplate in privacy.

Funded and operated by The Keswick Foundation, Maggie's Hong Kong offers individual support through professionals, such as cancer information specialists, clinical psychologists and social workers.

There are relaxation sessions to teach patients how to manage stress. There are support groups for people to share their experiences - or just to vent frustrations.

Popular classes include Chinese and Western nutrition, tai chi and yoga. In addition, there are creative writing courses, art therapy and concerts. All of its programs are free to the public, with some of the more popular courses requiring registration.

"We opened a temporary center in 2008 and moved here in April," says Helen Lui, Maggie's center head.

"While we are a drop-in center open to coincide with most users' doctors appointments during the day, we are available on an as-needed basis. For example, we have a Saturday yoga class for working women. And we have a young women's group on Friday evenings. They face different issues than their senior counterparts and most work during the day."

More than 80 percent of Maggie's approximately 12,000 users are female, and there are classes designed specifically for them.

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