In the midst of all the controversies swirling around Westminster about Brexit and other matters it is important to remember some long-term issues which transcend politics. One of these is the fight against breast cancer, so I was pleased to be able to take time out from day-to-day politics to support the Breast Cancer Now campaign when it came to Parliament.
I have personal family reasons for caring about this issue, so I am really impressed by the ambition of Breast Cancer Now in aiming that by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live. Their Wear it Pink day falls this year on October 20th, and it’s one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK, as part of Breast Cancer awareness month.
My role was to have my picture taken with suitable pink accoutrements I chose a pink flamingo) to help raise awareness around Ashford of the campaign, and specifically Wear it Pink Day.
The event has been around since 2002, and since then £30 million has been raised for live-saving research. The research covers all aspects of this terrible disease, including prevention, detection, and treatment.
The figures surrounding breast cancer are large, but the trend is encouraging. More than 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Over 95% of them survive for at least a year, and 86% survive for five years. Nevertheless nearly 11,500 women and 80 men die of breast cancer every year in the UK.
Experience tells me that the people of Ashford are always generous in support of good causes, and inventive in finding ways to raise money in support of them. Whether in schools, churches, or workplaces I have seen cakes baked, clothes worn, performances put on and tins rattled in aid of a good cause. I am sure the same will happen for Breast Cancer Now’s campaign.
Anyone who wants to get involved on social media can use the #wearitpink hashtag or the twitter handle @breastcancernow. Thousands of people around the country will be doing their bit on October 20th, and I know that many in and around Ashford will be joining them. The idea that within 30 years we could be close to ensuring that this is no longer a killer disease is really inspiring, and Ashford can play its part in making this a reality.