Kate Rackham, who has two daughters and is living with the little-known form of the disease, is the local face of the ‘Fighting to be Heard' initiative run by UK-wide charity Make 2nds Count to raise awareness of the forgotten cancer.
The campaign is promoting a powerful image of Kate alongside 19 other female secondary breast cancer patients from across the country, whose shared experience is the perception that they are treated as second best since their form of the disease is largely unknown – despite the fact it kills 1000 women in the UK each month.
Kate says: “I chose to join #fightingtobeheard campaign to raise awareness to help others, to meet people in a similar position, and also to raise funds for vital research into this disease, in order to prolong our lives and so that we have the chance to see our children grow up.
“I feel that we’re finally starting to be heard. I have met more women who have contacted me, newly diagnosed, and I’m able to help them.”
Secondary breast cancer – also known as metastatic, advanced or stage IV breast cancer – is a cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body and is incurable.
On average there are around 35,000 patients in the UK currently living with this form of the disease.
A YouGov poll, commissioned by the charity, revealed 38% of the British population are unaware of secondary breast cancer and although 21% are aware, they don’t know the disease’s common signs or symptoms.
Fellow secondary breast cancer patient and Make 2nds Count founder Lisa Fleming was determined to raise awareness and build a campaign with women UK-wide, all of whom shared the same desire to stand up and ‘Fight to be heard!’
Now, thanks to a contribution from Out of Home company Clear Channel UK, the campaign has gone live in Lancaster Road in Morecambe, in Salford and at locations across the UK.