Why the #HopeIsContagious Campaign began
KEVIN – was my husband - he died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 – aged 48.
JEAN – was Kevin’s mum – she died of pancreatic cancer in 1969 aged just 27.
What stands still for 40 years? Pancreatic cancer survival rates apparently!
The medics could offer Kevin no better a chance of survival in 2009 than they could his mum in 1969 - shockingly, pancreatic cancer outcomes had actually STOOD STILL for 40 years. 40 years with no progress whatsoever!
Most other cancers have seen varying degrees of improvement over 40 years which is great news but we are saddened that the same can’t be said for pancreatic cancer.
Very little hope came with Kevin’s diagnosis – at best he had 18 months to live, but maybe only 6 ….. or probably somewhere in between.
We were “lucky", Kevin survived for 20 months but, of course, we wanted more. We barely had our heads around the diagnosis when we were staring his death in the face.
The stark reality, as demonstrated by the statistics, is that not a lot of hope currently comes with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. #HopeIsContagious aims to make more people aware of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer as early diagnosis is key to survival.
After Kevin’s death we felt strongly that future pancreatic cancer patients needed to have hope and so the #HopeIsContagious Campaign was born.