World Cancer Day – Sharing Our Stories4th February 2020
It’s World Cancer Day today 4th February and we’re getting involved by fundraising and sharing stories.
World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
It’s the one singular initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) under which the entire world can unite together.
- There are 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK (Macmillan)
- 94% of people that receive an urgent referral from their GP, are seen by a specialist within 2 weeks in the UK (NHS)
Cancer affects many people in many ways, and we wanted to take the opportunity to share our stories.
My sister-in-law, Alex, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2017, and was treated at East Surrey hospital. She has written some words about her experience in using the East Surrey Macmillan cancer support centre.
Word’s from Alex:
When I was first diagnosed, they were a massive support just to go and talk to people that understood. I was able to take the kids there and they helped me explain to the kids that I would be having my treatment there (we didn’t tell them it was in a different building). They gave me loads of information about how I might feel during and after the treatment, how Dave might need support and where to go to get wiggie Wanda!
After my treatment I went there to see a counsellor who was amazing. I was so angry that cancer had screwed up so many things, but the counsellor gave me loads of tools to help me get through the anger. She also helped me to realise that it was perfectly normal to be angry and I wasn’t going loopy!!
There are tons of activities and courses that you can attend there for all sorts of things. I wasn’t able to make the most of them, but I know that a lot of people do and wouldn’t be able to without the volunteers and fundraising that everyone does. A VERY worthy cause.
Sharon along with Alex and her other sister-in-law Sue completed the cancer research ‘Shine’ night marathon walk in London in September 2018 and raised just under £3,000.
From Left to Right : Sharon, Alex, Sue
The ‘C’ word has affected my life in a big way. My reason for this story is I want to urge you all to get yourselves checked, ladies make sure you attend your appointments for cervical and breast screening and gents please get your PSA blood levels tested once you reach the age of 50 for prostate cancer; you will not be offered it, you have to ask for it. That goes for family members and friends.
My personal story
My dear dad died back in 1994 from prostate cancer when I was pregnant with my son. He did not have time to undergo treatment, it was too late. He was just 69. I lost my mum in 2007 to ovarian cancer, again no warning signs, she sadly passed within 3 months to secondary cancer.
Late last year is was my husband’s turn. Last October he sent off for a PSA test kit after watching Bill Turnbull’s programme ‘staying alive’ and a week later he received a phone call urging him to go to his doctors. Three months on and he has undergone prostate surgery and is recovering as we speak. I want everyone to be aware of these silent killers and urge you to go to your doctors if either you or your family member have any symptoms they are concerned about.
I will be campaigning to get prostate cancer screened nationally as they do for breast cancer as it is fast becoming the number one killer in men so watch this space on any fund-raising event that I will be taking part in. At some time in our lives we will all be affected by someone we know. Prostate is the number 1 cancer risk for men as well as the number 2 killer. Let’s raise as much money as we can today to support World Cancer Day.
My mother was diagnosed with Myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, in December 2010 at the age of 68. I had never heard of this form of cancer and took steps to learn more through the Myeloma charity, Myeloma.org.uk which I regularly donate to. I took part in a 5K charity run and raised £750 for the charity. My mother manages to carry on with an as normal as possible life whilst taking her weekly dose of 53 pills which includes weekly steroids and monthly check-ups at the Royal Marsden in Sutton, Surrey. She keeps a positive disposition most of the time and has great support from her loving husband, family and friends.
Emma, Emma’s Mother, Emma’s Father
Millan, having completed the Birmingham Half-Marathon
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day.
In the office today, we have had a cake sale with colleagues either baking or buying cakes and companies on different floors in our office building, Kingsgate, have also sampled the wares and contributed to our chosen local charity, East Surrey MacMillan Cancer Care.
If everyone around the world plays their part in raising awareness and fundraising for this worthy cause, the sooner we can beat cancer.