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Breast cancer survivor wants to help others cope with trauma

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HUNDREDS of people are stuck in survival mode after experiencing adversity and trauma – with many running on empty or living on autopilot as they struggle to get through each day.

Bami Adenipekun, a Swansea breast cancer survivor, who lost her mum and sister to breast cancer, knows how that feels.

She has set up Inspired to Soar to help people dealing with illness, adversity or loss to bounce back after life-altering events.

She says people retreat into survival mode after experiencing trauma, even though deep within, they want to live a fulfilling life.

She said: “When you’re in survival mode, you’re just trying to make it through the day in one piece. Your life is on hold. Your goals and plans are on hold. You’re not thinking beyond the day.

“Survival mode is a struggle but it doesn’t and shouldn’t last forever. If you’re struggling to keep your head above water, you’re not alone.”

Bami, 40, from Cockett went from survival mode to thriving after a three-year battle with cancer. She believes it is possible to live life on purpose after trauma.

She said: “I know from personal experience that a traumatic event can shake your world in the most severe, distressing and painful way. Even though trauma changes your life completely, the new normal journey can be a thriving and fulfilling one.”

Bami is no stranger to trauma. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2014 after a risk-reducing mastectomy. She lost her mum to the same disease in 1993, followed by her sister earlier this year. She had already had surgery three times for benign tumours and had been advised by her GP to have preventative mastectomy after her late sister’s diagnosis.

When she found a fourth lump, she decided to have preventative mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. The tissue tested after that surgery showed the cancer which did not show up on the mammogram. She also had some lymph nodes removed and is now on breast cancer medication for the next seven years.

She said: “Hearing the diagnosis was terrifying. I felt like the rug had just been pulled from under my feet. I lost my mum and sister to this disease so it was scary.

“It was difficult being a single mum with breast cancer. It basically capsized our world. It was hard for my daughter Amy, who was 11 at the time, as she had to grow up so fast.”

Bami said her diagnosis and treatment had an impact on her family and work.

She said: “I was working as a bereavement adviser at the time and I was off work a lot due to illness. I felt unsupported and eventually resigned. The impact of a cancer diagnosis on a family is huge. When cancer runs in the family and you’ve lost those you love to it, dealing with it takes a toll on you and your family.”

While recuperating at home after surgery, Bami started a journal to record her feelings and emotions. This turned out to be a defining moment.

She said: “I had spent most of my adult life counselling women at my church, inspiring them to rise above life’s circumstances and yet here I was struggling to stay afloat. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.

“About three months after diagnosis, I started a journal. In it, I wrote about how breast cancer had impacted my family over the years. I wrote down the steps that helped me to re-connect with my divine purpose and inspired me to start dreaming again.

“I realised just how short life was. Here I was battling the same disease that took my mum and sister. I decided right then and there that I did not want to be defined by my diagnosis.

“I knew I would be stuck in survival mode if I didn’t have an escape plan. And I knew survival mode would not just affect me but those I loved too. I didn’t want that. I wanted to pursue my God-given dreams like I encourage others to.”

The steps Bami wrote in her journal is the basis of the coaching she’s offering.

She said: “I call it Navigating Your New Normal (NYNN). It’s like a satnav for the new normal journey.”

Bami, who has a CPCAB level 3 certificate in Life Coaching Studies, uses her unique Navigating Your New Normal (NYNN) framework, to help people gain clarity, purpose and direction.

She said: “I am living proof that no matter what kind of trauma you have experienced, thriving is possible. Applying the NYNN framework to myself in the midst of personal tragedy is testament to its effectiveness.

“It is not a quick fix but is a process which if followed through will bring about desired life fulfilment even in the midst of life’s most painful experiences.”

For more information on Inspired to Soar, visit http://www.inspiredtosoar.co.uk

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The Range’s Swansea Store Shortlisted for ‘Best Christmas Display’

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Christmas has arrived early for The Range stores in Wales, boasting gigantic displays of all-things festive! The Range is well known for going all out during the Christmas season to create a fun and magical experience full of trees, lights, decorations and much more for their customers to enjoy and this year is no exception. The Range in Swansea surpassed expectations with a display so great, it’s left them shortlisted for ‘Best Christmas Display’ out of all The Range’s 182 stores.

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Local coronavirus restrictions imposed to control outbreaks in South Wales

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Coronavirus laws are being tightened in four more Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething today announced.

The new measures will come into force at 6pm on Tuesday 22 September 2020, to protect people’s health and control the spread of the virus in the four local authority areas.

The new restrictions will apply to everyone living in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport:

People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households;
All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm;
Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas – as is the case across Wales.
From 6pm on Tuesday 22 September, the requirement for all licensed premises to close at 11pm will also be extended to Caerphilly borough.

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

“Following the decision to place additional coronavirus restrictions in place in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other south Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.

“In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing. We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.

“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.

“We need everyone’s help to bring coronavirus under control. We need everyone to pull together and to follow the measures which are there to protect you and your loved ones.”

The restrictions are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus, which have been linked to people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines and returning from summer holidays overseas.

The Welsh Government will call an urgent meeting of all local authority, health board and police forces from Bridgend to the English border tomorrow to discuss the wider situation in South Wales and whether further measures are needed across the region to protect people’s health.

The new local restrictions measures will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.

Keep Wales safe by:

Always keeping your distance
Washing your hands regularly
Working from home wherever you can
Following any local restrictions
Following the rules about meeting people
Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.

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Welsh legislation will restrict those travelling from hotspot areas

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MARK Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, has today announced legislation which will restrict those coming from coronavirus hotspot’s from travelling to Wales.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has refused to impose rules which prohibit those from areas where the infection rate is high from entering low virus rate areas’s.

Mr Drakeford has made two requests to the Prime Minister requesting to impose rules which will mean those from high virus areas in England be prohibited from travelling to Wales, a request which has been denied by Mr Johnson.

The powers set by Mr Drakeford will come into force by the end of the week, unless Boris Johnson takes action sooner.

Speaking at the Plenary today, Mr Drakeford made the announcement, stating if Mr Johnson does not reply to his request by Friday then The Welsh Government will bring in legislation to restrict travel from those in English lockdown areas travelling to Wales.

Mr Drakeford said this was not a case of all those from England being restricted travel to Wales, just hotspot areas.

He said: “Evidence from public health professionals suggests coronavirus is moving from east to west across the UK and across Wales. As a general rule, it is concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of people travelling.

“Much of Wales in now subject to local restriction measures because levels of the virus have risen and people living in those areas are not able to travel beyond their county boundary without a reasonable excuse. This is designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.

“We are preparing to take this action to prevent people who live in areas where there are higher Covid infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales and bringing the virus with them.

“I am determined to keep Wales safe.”

The legislation, which is understood to come into force Friday, October 16 at 6pm, will mean those travelling to Wales from areas of England which are classed as virus hotspot’s will be restricted.

The new legislation also restricts those travelling into Wales from high virus prevalence areas from Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – Paul Davies MS – has rounded on the First Minister over a ban on people entering Wales from England, and the Labour Party’s inability or unwillingness to publish comprehensive data proving that transmission rates are accelerating due to travel.

Mr Davies took the First Minister to task during Plenary today (October 14), and referred to a statement made by the leader of the Labour Party on September 23 when he said that the Welsh Government was not seeing any spikes at all in infection due to travel and tourism.

Mr Davies said that the people of Wales deserve to have sight of the data that underpins the Welsh Labour-led Government’s position on this matter, so that they can be confident that the Government’s actions are proportionate to the threat of the virus in their area.

Mr Davies also referred to a paper that accompanied the First Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, a paper – that was not peer-reviewed – that confirms the data “…does not constitute definitive proof” in favour of a travel ban.

Mr Davies said: “The First Minister and his Government have acted rashly and without examining a range of other factors before a conclusion on whether to impose a travel ban or not is reached, while at the same time seemingly ignoring the fact that transmission rates in relation to travel had already peaked in August and September.

“It is incumbent on the First Minister to explain just why he has chosen to act in this way, and what supporting evidence he and his Ministers have seen to justify a ban and then publish it so it can be properly scrutinised.

“If he cannot or will not, then he must review and rescind this ban immediately.”

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