Everyone knows someone affected by cancer

April 30, 2012

I’ve lost count of the number of incredible women I’ve interviewed over the years whose lives have been affected by cancer. Mothers who have lost children, wives who have lost husbands, and women who themselves have had the disease. Cancer wasn’t something I had direct personal experience of – apart from surgery for pre-cancerous cells some years ago – until we lost both my beloved Uncle and Mum’s cousin to the disease. Suddenly cancer isn’t something that happens to other families – it’s something that happens to yours.

Doing something to help raise funds for research (did you know, for example, that a tiny proportion of funding goes towards research into brain tumours, and yet they’re the biggest killers of the under 40s?), or helping to support Macmillan nurses, or taking part in the Race For Life, or buying something from the new Fashion Targets Breast Cancer collection gives us a chance to make a difference. Maybe not affect the immediate outcome for our loved ones, but help to change the future for others.

Because everyone knows someone affected by cancer, don’t they?

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  • I heart motherhood May 1, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I’ve run many race for life’s since my granddad died of cancer when I was 17. And when my dad was diagnosed with Myeloma (currently one of the incurable cancers) 3 years ago I did the race for life and the Marie Curie swimathon. I also use the ‘give as you live’ application on my PC so that everytime I shop online a percentage of my shopping bill gets donated by the retailer to Myeloma UK.

  • Glasgow Mummy April 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I lost my mum to ovarian cancer in 2001. I’m running the Edinburgh half marathon in May for Macmillan cancer support – my first sponsored event for charity. My sister, her colleague (her mother is currently battling ovarian cancer) & I have raised £3700 so far. I’m so pleased with our efforts & know my mum would be so proud.

  • GiddyGirl April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    12 years ago today we lost my wonderful Mother in law to lung cancer at 57. 5 years before, her youngest son to a brain tumour aged 24. Lost my auntie only last month to this vile disease, many other friends/family gone or continue fight on.
    I am currently looking at ways to raise money to help find a cure and help beat this monster and donate to cancer-related charities as much as I can.

  • Catherine April 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Our community is full of people who are either experiencing cancer or supporting something through it. I think we all used to feel as though it happened to ‘other people’ – until, of course, it happens to us directly or a loved one.

    It’s a total shock to be diagnosed. But at least once the numbness subsides, there are great online communities to find and join. I’ve been honoured to connect with many incredible, supportive people this way.

  • Kate Davis-Holmes April 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I like the way you have shown several ways that people can help.
    My mum died in 2009 and I found out just what a wonderful job Macmillan nurses do.

  • Mel (MilkChic) April 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    My little brother died of cancer and our friend’s son is now under treatment. I watched Sarah Millican on Deal or No Deal last night and it made me realise that just becauise I can’t run marathons and don’t have a lot to donae right now, doesn’t mean I can’t do something. Off to put a plan in place – thanks for the reminder. (apologies for typo but can’t figure out how to go back & edit without retyping comment!)

  • kathleen (@mummywalker) April 30, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Running the Edinburgh Marathon next month and I’m hoping to raise money for Macmillan which is their chosen charity this year. Many members of my family have been affected by cancer and this was a way I could help a little bit.

  • Grace C April 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I know exactly what you are talking about. Until 12 years ago, cancer was just something I heard other people talk about until my mother was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Starting the year we lost her, my family and I decided to raise money every year for the American Cancer Society and it’s been a great healing experience.

  • Suzan St Maur April 30, 2012 at 9:19 am

    If for whatever reason you don’t want to contribute on the fund raising side of things, there is still a lot you can do as a volunteer for the Macmillan function in your local hospital. If you are a cancer patient or carer of a cancer patient, there are numerous support groups – ask at your local GP practice. And many hospital Trusts have cancer patient representative groups who volunteer to work with healthcare professionals to help improve the quality of cancer services.

    Suzan St Maur
    Vice Chair
    Milton Keynes Cancer Patient Partnership

    • Liz Jarvis April 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Thank you Suzan for taking the time to comment, and very good point about volunteering.