Sue Salisbury is backing the joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, after being successfully treated for breast cancer eight years ago.
Her life changed in ways that she could never have imagined as she went from being a busy working teacher with three young daughters to scheduling her life around surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions.
Now fit and well, Sue is calling on everyone to stand united against the disease by raising money to accelerate life-saving research.
She is sharing her story to help inspire people of all ages and abilities to Stand Up To Cancer by getting sponsored to stand up all day, or for as long as they can, on Friday October 15.
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Participants can choose how and where to make their stand, whether it’s on one leg, two legs, on their head, with a walking stick or by doing a wheelie every half an hour if they use a wheelchair. A free fundraising kit is available for inspiration and support.
In the north west, around 42,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Stand Up To Cancer helps to take breakthroughs from the lab and transform them into cutting-edge treatments that could help save the lives of more people like Sue.
Sue, who now works in the Environmental Health team at Lancaster City Council, understands all too clearly the need to speed up progress in the fight against the disease.
The 50-year-old was feeling happy and relaxed following a family holiday when her husband Pete alerted her to a lump on her left breast and urged her to see the doctor.
Sue never dreamt it could be something serious as she was only 42 at the time. However, following an ultrasound and a biopsy, results showed the 2cm lump was cancerous.
Sue had surgery to remove the lump as well as lymph nodes at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital. Fortunately, the cancer had not spread.
She then faced chemotherapy which initially made her so ill she ended up in hospital for a week. Once the dose was changed, Sue coped much better, but had to undergo an extended course of treatment. She also had a course of radiotherapy.
Sue and Pete are parents to daughters Megan, 24, Trinity, 16, and 14-year-old Poppy.
Sue said: “The hardest part was telling my three daughters who were young at the time. Trinity and Poppy were still at primary school. There were two cancer stories at the same time in Coronation Street and Emmerdale which made it easier for them to understand what was happening, but it was still tough going.
“Doctors told me I was very lucky to have been diagnosed so early as my type of cancer would have grown aggressively, so it’s thanks to my husband Pete for having found the lump and making me go to the GP.
“It’s thanks to research and treatment that I’m still standing and can look forward to a future full of special moments with my loved ones.
“With charities having been hit so hard by the pandemic, it feels more important than ever for everyone to do what they can. Getting sponsored to stand up for a day is such a simple way to support research and show solidarity. So, I hope people in Lancashire will get on their feet and stand up for me and everyone affected by this devastating disease.”
Anyone who can’t take part on October 15 can chose another date or fundraise in their own way. People can also show their support for the campaign, and raise money in style, with a striking range of clothing and accessories for men and women available online.
Stand Up To Cancer, now in its ninth year in the UK, has raised more than £84m, funding 59 clinical trials and projects involving more than 19,000 cancer patients across the country.
These include the development of new treatments that use viruses to fight cancer, clinical trials testing potentially more effective ways to deliver radiotherapy and improved surgical techniques for bowel cancer.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the north west, said: “We are very grateful to Sue for helping us to continue our mission. One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime, but all of us can play a part to help beat it. That’s why we’re asking everyone to Stand Up To Cancer, by standing up on Friday October 15. It really is as simple as that.
“The challenge itself might be harder than it sounds, but it’s not difficult to imagine the difference it could make to people like Sue.
"The money raised will go directly to our life-saving research, helping our tireless scientists face their own feat of endurance to constantly develop tests and treatments for those who need them most. If we all stand together, we can save lives.”
The Stand Up To Cancer campaign will continue throughout September and October and culminate in an awe-inspiring night of TV on Channel 4.
Sign up and get a free fundraising kit herwe..
In the north west, around 42,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Stand Up To Cancer’s ambition is to see three in four people in the UK survive their cancer by 2034.
Here’s how the fundraising efforts of people in Lancashire could help:
* £20 could pay for a simple blood test that allows researchers to analyse the DNA of a person with cancer taking part in a clinical trial.
* £50 buys a ‘scientific sieve’ to separate out big bits and small bits of DNA to reveal biological clues about how to beat cancer.
* £100 buys a chemical tape measure that lets Stand Up To Cancer scientists find the size of DNA molecules, information that could reveal crucial clues about how to beat cancer.
* £150 would buy special chemicals that latch onto key molecules involved in cancer, letting them spot where its weaknesses are, and paving the way towards future life-saving treatments.
* £250 buys 500 special plastic dishes that let Stand Up To Cancer scientists follow a cancer cell’s every move, helping to discover new ways to stop the disease in its tracks.