Regular readers of my blog will be aware that son1 was diagnosed with leukaemia last year. He has been in remission for over a year now but still has almost two more years of chemotherapy ahead.
This month is “Be Child Cancer Aware” month, so son1 has one thing to say – “Oi Cancer, Poke Off”. You may join in this campaign by texting POKE11 £3 to 70070. 100% of all donations will go to supporting children with cancer in the UK. Use the hashtags #GoGold & #pokeoffcancer to challenge your family and friends to tell cancer to poke off!
Yesterday we participated in a workshop for International Bead Challenge Day for the Beads of Courage Programme. The boys made two String of Strength bracelets each – one for themselves and one to be given to another child undergoing cancer treatment in hospital. Son1 got a special bead to add to his own Beads of Courage. We also got to see the beads being made.
Also I would like to draw your attention to another lesser known cancer which you may not have heard of – mesothelioma. This is caused by exposure to asbestos. Heather, a survivor of mesothelioma, who was given 15 months to live in 2005, shares her story here. In the US, it will be mesothelioma awareness day on September 26th, although we have a different date here in the UK, usually the first Friday in July.
Mesothelioma is a preventable disease. I can remember that we had asbestos mats in the science labs at school, but I thought that asbestos had now been outlawed. But no, not fully I now find out. Although it is now banned for construction, some existing asbestos remains. Asbestos needs to be safely disposed of entirely to prevent lives needlessly being lost to mesothelioma.
Here are some key facts about asbestos and mesothelioma.
To this day, asbestos is still found in many schools, homes, commercial and industrial buildings.
Asbestos was once used in common household items such as toasters hairdryers, and over 3,000 other consumer products.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity called the mesothelium. The only known cause to mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos exposure was first linked to mesothelioma cancer in 1964. Worldwide mesothelioma cases are expected to reach their peak around the year 2020.
For more information, see www.mesothelioma.com or http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/mesothelioma/
And September 26th is another key cancer awareness date in the UK for Macmillan, with the world’s biggest coffee morning. In 2013, 154,000 people signed up, raising a record £20 million. I’m doing my bit by organising a cake sale and bake off challenge in my workplace for Macmillan that day. And then next month, my other half is participating in an outdoor swim also in aid of Macmillan.