Amy and her mum, Angela smiling

"The support for each other really shone through"

Last month, our amazing Jog 28 miles in February participants braved the dreary weather to cover 28 miles over 28 days, raising an incredible £300k! 

Each and every participant was kept going by their own unique and inspiring stories, including Amy, who took part in support of her mum, Angela, sadly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2020. 

Amy’s story 

“Anyone who knows me well, knows the only running I do these days is running a bath…so it may have come as a surprise that I was going to be completing the Jog 28 miles in February challenge for Pancreatic Cancer UK.  

What won’t come as a surprise is the deep love, admiration and respect I have for my own superhero – my precious mum Angela, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with no warning or symptoms, aged just 67.  

Our whole world fell apart. We have always been a team, the two of us always the constant in each other’s lives. I wanted to fight to help her all I could, and do everything possible to protect her from cancer and its vicious grasp. 

Amy on her wedding day with her mum, Angela
Amy with her mum, Angela and daughter, Mollie

Finding support

When I didn’t know where to turn, I found Pancreatic Cancer UK, who answered the questions I had, held my hand over the phone, heard me cry, explained what medical terms meant and what appointments would happen next. They heard me not being able to breathe or take the information in, and supported me through the trauma of what next? What treatments, chemos, side effects? The list goes on, as I am sure sadly many of you reading this will understand. We were in complete freefall. 

Tracey, the nurse at the other end of the Support Line, became my friend in the darkest of times. I vowed that I would try to offer something back to her one day, and to all the sufferers of this harrowing disease and their families who watch in terror and helplessness. 

Taking action for change

We know we are not alone in the despair of facing a cancer journey with a loved one or friend. Both myself and my mum have lost people dear to us to cancer and have friends and loved ones who are going through this right now, or have experienced cancer themselves, or who are in remission and live with the effects, mentally and physically of cancer, every day. We know the impact it has on people’s lives – not only the person with cancer, but the loved ones watching and trying to help. We hear you, we see you, we empathise with you and we love you. 

I wanted to do something tangible to help the charity who helped me. 

It’s unacceptable that more than half of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within 3 months. Survival rates have improved enormously for most cancers, yet for pancreatic cancer this is not the case. 

Amy wearing a Pancreatic Cancer UK tshirt

The Jog 28 challenge

I found the challenge tough at times and cried for many of the miles, thinking of what my mum had been through and just hoping this challenge would make a difference to her somehow. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I felt it could help my mum, or anyone in her position.  

Overall, though, I enjoyed it. The challenge gave me something positive to focus on at a difficult time.  

I’d like to take the opportunity to say thank you to Lauren from Pancreatic Cancer UK’s fundraising team. She was so motivating and supportive throughout the challenge, and the Facebook group too! The support for each other really shone through. 

Amy with her daughter wearing tshirts saying 'Together, we'll take on pancreatic cancer'
Amy with her daughter Mollie

Mum’s progress

My mum has endured 12 rounds of the strongest chemotherapy to fight the tumour and did so with no complaints. Apart from maybe about the macaroni cheese that I kept feeding her when she didn’t feel like eating, and that the cuppas didn’t come twice hourly! She was before and is even more now my inspiration and remains my superhero. 

In September 2021, Mum was given the most incredible news that her tumour had shrunk. She is the best story the doctors have seen in a long time, and has amazed the NHS oncology team, who we must also deeply thank for their work during the COVID pandemic. I am very thankful to the NHS for doing all they can to help my mum, treating her and very recently providing her with extra viral drugs to fight the luckily mild case of COVID she had.  

So for now we breathe and enjoy all the best of times we can, and every three months Mum will have a review and keep moving forward. 

Amy and her mum, Angela smiling
Amy and her mum, Angela

Hope for the future

Thank you for hearing my mum’s story. If one person reading this can be helped by knowing these symptoms and acting on them quickly, this post and challenge has been worth it. 

Pancreatic Cancer UK is dedicated to taking on this injustice using every possible means. Please lets help them make the breakthroughs that people with pancreatic cancer so desperately need and change the outcome of pancreatic cancer. 

Are you inspired by Amy's story?

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