Yesterday marked two weeks and two days since my last update. It doesn't feel like very long ago does it? It is exactly the same amount of time between when my sister-in-law Julie's Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and when he died.
John was Dad to Julie and Kerry, father-in-law to my brother Mark and Kerry's husband Richard and he was 'Pop' to my gorgeous niece Olivia and to her cousins Sammy and Jessica. He was at the heart of an incredibly close family. It was a family that had virtually no warning that its structure would soon change forever. That is the reality of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of the most common causes of cancer and just 4% of those diagnosed survive for more than five years. For many it's months or maybe a year or two. For some it is just weeks. That's why campaigns like Pancreatic Cancer UK's Two More Months are so important. This campaign called on the Government to fund a new drug that, on average, extends a patient's life by two months. It might not seem like very long but as a proportion of life left for most pancreatic cancer patients it is a huge amount of time.
It's this sort of campaigning and the research that Pancreatic Cancer UK funds that makes me proud to be running for this charity. I am also completely overwhelmed (to frequent tears!) by the way family, friends, clients, and even people I have met from the Pancreatic Cancer UK social media network, have got behind my fundraising. Thank you. But please don't stop!
I met John just a handful of times so I only got to know him a little, but to me one thing that shone through the most was his sense of humour. The last time I saw him was outside Julie and Mark's house and I was tumbling noisily out of a car - I was soon at the receiving end of a kindly quip about my general lack of elegance! If he could see me huffing and puffing red-faced through my training plan he'd definitely have something to say!