I started smoking at the age of 18 by the time I got to my mid 30s I became a heavy smoker and made a huge decision to quit for the first time. It was going great and I actually stopped smoking for 4 years then I turned back to smoking again due to anxiety and domestic abuse in my life at that time. During that time a close friend got diagnosed with lung cancer and died, I still remember how badly her chest was and I knew I didn’t want to go that way. Following that another friend who was a heavy smoker and a drinker sadly got diagnosed with lung cancer as well, he couldn’t breathe without an oxygen tank and eventually died at a young age.I started to experience my own health problems such as rattling of my chest, running out of breathe and my skin started looking discoloured like that of a very ill person. I knew it was time to change my habits and I started walking again to improve my breathing and finally contacted Kickstart and they were a great help. My stop smoking specialist then told me about lozenges which worked very well for me, I received encouraging texts when I was having unbearable withdrawal symptoms. She was very patient, understanding and compassionate with me during my journey. And I’m already starting to see the benefits, I feel healthier, I’m saving more money and mentally in a good space. Which is why I am trying to get my brother on this service because if it changed my life it can change his.

And my guide dog Darla has provided me with support and companionship, she keeps  me going.

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