Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Pancreatic Cancer UK's Campaign for Hope goes to the House of Lords

I felt quite emotional listening to Margaret Magnusson as she talked to Good Morning Scotland yesterday about the death of her father, the broadcaster Magnus Magnusson in January 2007. You could hear the pain and shock still in her voice as she talked about his rapid decline.

You see, the disease that killed him was Pancreatic Cancer, known as the silent killer because by the time you know you've got it, it's most likely too late. It's what took the life of Apple founder Steve Jobs last month.

Margaret talked about the slow rate of progress in curing this disease, little movement having been made in four decades. She was representing  Pancreatic Cancer UK's Campaign for Hope. 

Nobody close to me personally has had this awful disease, but I know that if Andrew had been here, he would have done all he could to publicise what has now become Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. He would have been pleased to see that as just two years ago, he wrote about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week just 10 weeks after his mother's sudden death from the disease. She had been diagnosed only at the end of July and died at the beginning of September in 2009.

At Andrew's funeral in June, a collection was made for Pancreatic Cancer UK and the British Heart Foundation, another cause he cared about deeply.

The Campaign for Hope has the ambitious aim of doubling survival rates from this disease within 3 years. They want to get diagnosis done earlier as apparently, according to their Guide for MPs, Pancreatic Cancer patients visit their GP almost twice as much as other Cancer patients before they find out what's wrong with them - by which time it is often too late. They also want more funds for research and an audit of Pancreatic Cancer services.

Awareness Month kicks off as I write with a do in the House of Lords.  The charity wants us all to write to our MPs to make sure that they read their plea for action. They also want us to buy their ribbon and become their representatives in our area.

I wanted to give the campaign a bit of a signal boost for Andrew. Will you do something to help today?

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