Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month – Turn It Purple

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, known to many as ‘PCAM’, takes place during November every year – and is the biggest event in the calendar for those committed to taking on pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the UK’s 5th cause of cancer death. With barely any improvements to pancreatic cancer survival rates in the last 50 years, it is clear that there can be no progress without change. There is still much more that can be done and the need to improve pancreatic cancer diagnosis and outcomes is urgent.  

TH March will once again be supporting PCAM and to start the support and raising awareness activities we have a personal story from Jean Keast who works in our IT Support Team.

Why I support this charity – Jean Keast

Why I support this charity is because I lost my brother to this cancer 6 years ago. He was diagnosed in March 2014 and given between 3 and 12 weeks to live. To say this was a shock was an understatement, I had not heard of Pancreatic Cancer then. I visited him as much as I could and promised him, I would do what I could to raise awareness and funds. Sadly, he died August 1st, 2014 just 4 months after diagnosis. I started to investigate Pancreatic Cancer and the statistics were horrific. One of the leading cancers with a 3% survival rate, through sheer hard work by Pancreatic Cancer charities, this is now around 8%. However, around 10,000 people still die each year, most are mis diagnosed and like my brother when they are finally diagnosed it is too late, some dying within days of diagnosis.

I found Pancreatic Cancer Action, which is headed up by Ali Stunt who set the charity up. She is a Pancreatic Cancer survivor and is passionate about raising awareness. The charity works very closely with the Medical Profession to achieve this. It is a small charity which relies on donations to survive. The staff are amazing and always at the end of the phone for support for patients and their families as well as their volunteers. I have been fundraising for the last 6 years and to date the total is just under £20,000.

About 4 years ago I got together with some friends who had all lost loved ones to Pancreatic Cancer, and we formed “Tavifest”, an annual music festival held in Tavistock in August. We have five wonderful sponsors, of which TH March is one and we are grateful for the support we receive from them all. In addition, many of the local businesses step up to help, not only with donations but as stewards and volunteers at the festival. We are planning next year’s Tavifest and have some great bands and singers already booked. This was supposed to have been our 3rd year but due to Covid-19 we had to cancel, so this year we held an online concert on the Tavifest Facebook page raising around £350. We are currently raffling off the prizes that were donated for the festival on our Facebook page.

November is Pancreatic Cancer awareness month and we (the purple family) try to arrange to turn as many landmarks purple on the 1st day of the month and the International day, which this year is the 19th. Sadly, our activities this year have been hit badly by Covid-19 and like many other charities, donations have fallen dramatically, and many landmarks are unable to take part.

Read 5 tips for fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in lockdown for some inspiration.

Downloadable Awareness Materials

Here’s a list of free to download awareness materials which can be printed off, displayed on your company’s intranet, or emailed to your family, friends and colleagues.

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