In 2001 pancreatic cancer took the life of my grandfather, Derek. In 2005, my grandmother Audrey also lost her life to the disease. On the 23rd January 2014 it ripped through our family once again. My other half David. It's impossible to sit here and write anything that comes close to the emotion that I feel. There are no words to describe how much it hurts, I would give anything to have taken away their pain and suffering from this disease. It's because of them and because this pain exists in my heart that I will do whatever I can to try and help stop this disease tearing apart more families.
David died of pancreatic cancer exactly 7 months after finishing his last triathlon. He died as the father of a beautiful three year old girl and a fabulous 21 year old son. He died as Vice President of Hitachi Europe. He died leaving behind his wonderful mum and me..
Anabella was 3 when David died, she will grow up not knowing how it feels to be hugged by her daddy, she will never know what it feels like to have daddy come to the rescue when she needs him, she will never feel the overwhelming love David had for her.
Connor didn't have his Dad at his graduation, and we can only imagine how proud he would be of him starting his Masters and working as hard as he has done despite everything
His mum turned 80 without her loving son or husband by her side.
I lost the man I loved at 29. I still think he is going to walk through the door and we can carry on as we were.
Cancer knows no boundaries, it is indiscriminate in who it tries to destroy. It doesn't only take the lives of the ones we love, it takes away a part of all those who are left behind too.
Please help and give what you can, so that one day a father just like David can turn to his family and say that Daddy is going to be okay, that they have beaten pancreatic cancer.
I write this with tears flooding down my face from the bottom of a heart which is fixed back together by the love for my daughter and the memories of a wonderful man.
I know there are thousands of good causes out there and it's impossible to help them all but even if you don't donate to this cause, donate to another close to your heart, or even just take one piece of information from this, about pancreatic cancer, and make yourself aware of the symptoms, Google it, or just mention it to one other person. Word needs to spread about this cancer, to raise awareness about its terrible survival rate and the lack of funding into new research.
The survival rates are the worst of all cancers. There are heart breaking stories of people dying a matter of weeks, even days after diagnosis. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is just 6 months. The wonderful survival stories are out there but they are just too few and far between, we need more happy endings.
But first you have to get diagnosed, there are currently no tests and the symptoms are as vague as a bad back or a sore tummy.
We need research into new treatment, and new diagnostic tools so people are diagnosed faster and therefore stand a better chance of survival.
Increasing awareness IS increasing the odds
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Full Cycle Challenge
750 miles. Cycle. Swim. Climb. Run. for Pancreatic Cancer Action because raising awareness is raising the odds.
We focus on early diagnosis and awareness to improve survival of pancreatic cancer
Charity Registration No. in England & Wales 1137689, Scotland SC049777