Finsbury Park entrepreneur: ‘I fell into depression after beating cancer... my business will help fellow survivors’
PUBLISHED: 15:25 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:29 05 April 2017
Finsbury Park entrepreneur Lulu Socratous bravely defied pancreatic cancer. But that was when her real problems began, she tells the Gazette.
It sounds strange, but the hardest part of Lulu Socratous’s cancer battle came when doctors gave her the all-clear.
Five years ago, Lulu beat pancreatic cancer, dubbed the “silent killer” because a lack of symptoms make it extremely difficult to detect. Lulu was at stage four, the most advanced, when she was diagnosed. Survival rate is just five per cent.
Lulu, of Moray Road, Finsbury Park, fought a brave and successful battle. But nothing could have prepared her for the lonely recovery process.
It’s why the 38-year-old is forming a company, LULU, to help fellow women rebuild their lives and confidence after cancer.
She explains: “I was very young – 33. It was a rare type of cancer, the same Steve Jobs had. I read all those stories about him, and a month later I had the same thing.
“That was hard enough, but once you get through it, you’re left alone, and quite rightly so. Doctors move on to their next patient, friends and family go back to their lives. You can’t rely on charities forever.
“As a cancer survivor, you feel mentally and physically broken and don’t know where to go. That period after recovery was actually the darkest. I plummeted into depression.
“I wanted to get on with my life but didn’t know how. I struggled to get back in the saddle. I wanted to get on with my life but simple things like fitness, getting dressed and getting back into work are really daunting.”
It’s what gave Lulu the idea for her business, which is at the start-up stage.
The concept is a free online networking hub “by survivors, for survivors”. Women can seek and provide advice on everything from health and lifestyle to fashion and beauty. It will be funded by subscription and gift boxes associated with cancer recovery.
And Lulu adds: “It has, and will be, very hard work, but the idea that people will never have to go through what I went through is what keeps me going.”
Lulu has a crowdfunding campaign for her business, with a two-week deadline to raise £5,000. For more information, see crowdfunder.co.uk/luluandme