Shine a light on pancreatic cancer

Survival has improved for most cancers, but not for pancreatic cancer. It's critical that more people are diagnosed earlier. With your support this Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, we can put a spotlight on the disease to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.

2 September 2021

More awareness will lead to more people surviving. That’s why on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, which this year falls on 18th November, we’ll once again join forces with charities and those affected by the disease across the UK and beyond to light up homes and prominent landmarks purple.

To kick things off, we‘re sharing Emma’s inspiring story about how the sad loss of her Dad in 2019 led her to arrange some amazing light ups in Liverpool over the past few years, and what the Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer campaign means to her.

We hope you’ll join her this year.

It's such a proud moment seeing a light up that you've organised, especially when it's in memory of someone. If that light up gets people talking and even finding out some information about pancreatic cancer then it's all worth it.

Emma

Emma’s Story

“At 62, my Dad Ray was a fit, healthy, active and happy father of two (I’m the eldest with a younger brother) and grandfather of seven. However, in the months leading up to his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, he began feeling unwell, and was treated for gall stones.

Once diagnosed on 24th May 2019, he was cared for in hospital but sadly was unable to have any treatment or surgery. Dad spent his last few weeks in a hospice in Liverpool, and we all received truly amazing care and support. Dad fought to the very end and I was honoured to be with him. Over 200 people attended his funeral, showing what a wonderful and truly loved man he was. 

Discovering Purple Lights

The only time I had heard of pancreatic cancer before my Dad’s diagnosis was the death of Patrick Swayze. So when he was diagnosed, I visited Pancreatic Cancer UK for information and support. Losing Dad in the way we did was devastating and I wanted to get involved in raising awareness. I came across the Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer campaign through social media and thought it was a lovely way to not only raise awareness but to remember, especially as Dad’s birthday is in November.

Mersey Gateway Bridge Lit up Purple for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Organising Light ups

I didn’t expect to so easily get anywhere to light up, but for World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2019 I organised for the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Greystone Footbridge to light up purple – I was so overwhelmed and proud they were getting involved. I shared the light ups on my personal social media and the support from family and friends was amazing, especially on the day when people sent photos of the actual light ups. 

Last year I decided to get involved again and managed to get the same two light ups signed up to be involved, plus the Steve Prescott Bridge, St Helens, the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool and Merseyside Police Headquarters in Liverpool – which had special meaning as Dad was an ex Merseyside Police Officer. 

Ray in uniform

Plans for this November

This year, I thought I would try to get even more places secured to light up, so I started in the summer. Amazingly, the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Greystone Footbridge agreed to get involved straight away. Fingers cross some others get involved too.

To anyone thinking of arranging their own light ups this year, I would say getting involved in Purple Lights is simple. Send an email or fill in an online form for the landmark/building asking for them to be involved. There’s lots of information and support on the Purple Lights website too.  

Greystone Footbridge, Liverpool

What Purple Lights for Pancreatic Cancer means to me

It’s such a proud moment seeing a light up that you’ve organised, especially when it’s in memory of someone. If that light up gets people talking and even finding out some information about pancreatic cancer then it’s all worth it.”

Ray in black and white

Find out more about how to get involved in this year’s Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer, and all of the other exciting things planned for this year’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Take part in Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer