A month to remember

As Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month 2021 draws to a close, we're thrilled to share with you all the amazing ways we've raised vital awareness and funds, together, to take on this tough cancer.

Thank you once again for showing us your unshakable strength and determination this month – and throughout what in many ways has been another tough year – whether taking on fundraising challenges or lighting up your favourite local landmark purple. We are so grateful.

This year, you’ve raised a fantastic £271,697 to improve the lives of those living with pancreatic cancer today, and fund vital research to transform the future.

From putting on concerts and quiz nights to walking 48 miles in 8 days, here’s just some of the brilliant things that have happened this November.

Take It On – fundraising highlights

  • A quiz night, held by Laura Perry for the second time in memory of her mum, raised £1,405.
  • Pancreatic Cancer survivor Karen Bulfin raised an incredible £13,526 by singing 24 songs at a concert put on for family and friends. 
  • Kerri Elsley, along with friends and family, walked on treadmill for an incredible 24 hours at the gym to raise £2,477. 
  • Helen French, who is a pancreatic cancer survivor, will be walking 48 miles and has so far raised £1,580. 

Lisa’s fundraising story

“Earlier this year, my stepmum Coral was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Coral received the devastating news that during surgery, the tumour couldn’t be removed. Coral had her first round of treatment in early October, but because of the side effects, treatment had to be halted.

Once Coral is strong again, there may be an option to take part in trial drugs, but in the meantime, I felt one of the best things I could do to keep focused and remain supportive to Coral, family and friends is to help others in similar situations.

Why Challenge 24? Because 24 people a day lose their life to pancreatic cancer, and as we all know, fundraising is how vital research and support can continue. 

 I took on the challenge of walking 8 miles, cycling 8 mile and kayaking 8 miles, totalling 24 miles within 8 hours! 

The day began at 8am with the walk, which started and finished at The Oak Church Eaton, and was followed by the cycle to the Boat Pub in Brewood. The final leg was the 8 mile kayak along the canal to the Navigation Pub in Gnosall. 

 The day was followed by a fundraising evening at The Oak, Church Eaton, consisting of live music, food, a Gin Raffle and an Auction including a weekend away in Barmouth! 

 After an amazing day, we’ve raised over £4,100. It was certainly a challenge but with so much love and support, there was no stopping us. I’ve been blown away with people’s support and generosity.” 

I felt one of the best things I could do to keep focused and remain supportive to Coral, family and friends is to help others in similar situations.

Lisa

Shining a light on pancreatic cancer

Thank you for making an extra special effort this year to raise vital awareness, remember loved ones lost and honour those living with and beyond pancreatic cancer by lighting up the UK purple.

Through the Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer campaign, along with partnered charities, you lit up an incredible 231 landmarks and homes – a fabulous increase on last year’s 175!

That’s 231 opportunities for people to stop, recognise and learn about this tough cancer.

We’ve been moved by all the wonderful photos you’ve sent us, and the stories about your motivations for raising awareness. Some truly iconic landmarks, including Blackpool Tower, The Kelpies, and Battersea Power Station have got involved this year.

Here’s a few of our favourite photos.

Raising vital symptoms awareness

At the beginning of November, we asked you to help us spread vital awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, by making sure that 10,500 people, the number of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, learn the symptoms of the disease. Within just 6 days, you’d smashed this target by taking and sharing our symptoms quiz, along with our 1 minute symptoms awareness video, with your family and friends.

In total, you helped make sure 15,477 people know the symptoms, so that they, or someone close to them, might be diagnosed in time to receive treatment.

We also brought you a new collection of symptoms awareness videos, which feature candid conversations with people affected by pancreatic cancer about their first- and second-hand experiences with often vague and confusing symptoms, and what to look out for. 

Hitting the headlines

We had an incredible response to our media story, which showed a third of people would wait three months or more to go to their GP with symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Newspapers and media outlets across the UK including the Daily Mail, The Independent and HuffPost shared our story, helping more people find out the symptoms to look out for, and what to do if they have them.

We’re so grateful to those of you who shared your personal stories to help us reach and influence more people through our media coverage. People like pancreatic cancer survivor Robert Slaven, whose story was featured in The Sun, Ruby Thresher, who has been urging people to recognise the early symptoms of the disease via the BBC after losing her mum Jo, and Chelsea Bennett, whose experience of losing her mum Joanne was featured in The Mirror.

Events and Partnerships

St PancrEas International

We returned to the temporarily-named St PancrEas International station with Popchoir this year, who were once again a smash hit, drawing a consistent crowd and raising awareness and spirits alike throughout the station and resulting in a fantastic fundraising total of £2,709

Aviva – A touch of purple

On World Pancreatic Cancer Day our incredible corporate partner Aviva hosted their ‘A touch of purple’ event celebrating their incredible achievement of raising an amazing £70,000 for our charity across the year.

Eurostar

We were also touched and moved by our friends at Eurostar, who donated £2,000 to us in memory of a colleague who sadly died from pancreatic cancer last year, and hosted a wonderful celebration of her life.

Parliamentary events

Over 800 of you invited your parliamentarians to our virtual events throughout the month for our Transform lives:Prescribe campaign, exceeding our target of 500 and sending over 1,300 letters to local politicians.  

 This garnered an excellent response from MPs and other parliamentarians, many of whom signed up to our events, which were a great success. 

 Speaking with Northern Irish MPs (MLAs), Claire from Belfast shared her experience of taking PERT, which was really powerful and helped them to better understand the issue, resulting in some great discussions and helpful commitments to follow up the issue of PERT in Stormont. 

At another event with MSs, Hannah from Powys shared the story of her husband, Mark, and the relief he got from PERT in his final months. After such a moving and engaging story, some good conversations were had about working with the Senedd to drive up PERT prescription. 

 

A huge thank you to you, our incredible supporters, collaborators and partners for all your wonderful contributions to yet another fantastic Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.