On Tuesday 11th November, we hosted a Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month event in the Scottish Parliament. As with our event in the Welsh Assembly the week before, we brought together a mix of patients, family members, clinicians and researchers working on fighting pancreatic cancer every day, as well as representatives of other cancer charities, including Pancreatic Cancer Scotland. We ended up with well over 50 people congregating in the Parliament’s Burns Room to meet and share their experiences.
Neil Findlay MSP
Thank you to Neil Findlay MSP who sponsored the room for us so the event could take place. Neil spoke during the evening too and it was great to hear that he had taken on board many of our key messages about the need for improved pancreatic cancer awareness, diagnosis, treatment, research and care. We are also grateful to Aileen McLeod MSP and Nanette Milne MSP who both, like Neil, took time to talk with the other guests and to learn more about the disease. Again, as with the PCAM reception in Wales, it was good to have cross-party political representation.
Supporters Wallace and June Kemp
We also heard speeches from Kim Rowan - one of our Scottish Voices and who was instrumental in helping to organise the reception - and from Teresa Fagan and Kirsteen Buchanan. Each of them had lost friends and family members to pancreatic cancer and their words were extremely powerful and highly emotive, helping to press home the reasons we were all there. Thank you to each of them for their bravery in sharing their stories in such a public forum.
We are hugely grateful to everyone involved – the event has helped raise awareness of pancreatic cancer in Scotland and has built a baseline from which we will be able to make further advances in future.