A CANCER charity has told patients they "don't have to do this alone" amid the cost of living crisis and rising energy costs.

Macmillan Cancer Support financially supported 687 people last year, with over £250,000 in total.

The grants helped pay for essentials, from gas and electric bills to transport for hospital appointments.

Aid like this is especially important as the cost of living crisis and rising energy prices continue to impact patients.

The Glasgow Times is currently running a campaign to raise awareness and help people cope with the rising costs.

Macmillan Cancer Support is bracing itself for a flood of people looking for support but is still urging anyone in need to reach out.

Donald Stewart, 44, from Glasgow, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in January this year.

He received a £350 payment to help with bills when he had to stop work.

He said: “Macmillan has helped me massively. The grant has been a huge help towards paying immediate bills because I can’t work just now and on sick leave. I’m a single dad of two so it’s not easy - every penny helps.

“I was referred to the charity through my Link Support Worker and she sorted out everything I’m entitled to. I’ve been given a blue badge to help with parking at hospital appointments and a bus pass should I need to use it.

"I never thought it was cancer. I never suspected a thing and thought everything was fine. I was taking heartburn tablets and they could have been masking the issue.

“I began having difficulty swallowing but being a typical guy, I just put up with it for a while. When I had to start having to eat small bites that’s when I called the doctor. I’m currently receiving chemotherapy and it’s quite horrendous, it really takes its toll on you, and no one can prepare you for that.

“I hope that anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation reads this and knows where to reach out to and get support and to make sure they get checked out as soon as possible.”

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Across Scotland, Macmillan gave out around £1.5 million in grants to almost 4000 people to help them pay for basic necessities.

Janice Preston, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “These figures demonstrate how badly a cancer diagnosis can impact a person financially. I don’t think we’ve even touched the surface of how catastrophic this month’s increase in living costs are going to affect people facing a life-threatening illness.

“It shouldn’t be like this with a cancer diagnosis and we want to make sure that people with cancer know Macmillan are here for them, whatever it takes. You don’t have to struggle.

“Please pick up the phone and call our Support Line on 0808 808 0000, they’re open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm and someone will listen and discuss your needs or contact your local Welfare Rights Team.

"You’re not alone - there’s help and support here for you.”