While its profile is low compared to that of breast or testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer is far deadlier.
And when Winnie Donovan died within three weeks of her diagnosis, her daughter Claire Donovan and son-in-law Lee Walkington decided to do something to raise the disease’s profile.
Mum of two Claire, 35, said: “Since my mum passed away we found that the survival rate was so low and how little funding it got.
“We want to try to make sure that other people don’t go through what we went through.”
Breast cancer and testicular cancer have, respectively, an 87% and 98% survival rate at five years following diagnosis.
At just 3% for five years – and 1% for 10 years – pancreatic cancer is the deadliest of all, and has been for 40 years.
Yet pancreatic cancer, which accounts for 5% of cancer deaths, receives just 1% of national research funding for cancer.
Pancreatic cancer has few noticeable symptoms in its early, curable stages.
And once the cancer becomes apparent – patients become tired, jaundiced and have problems moving their bowels – it’s too late.
Now the couple are holding a fundraising afternoon tea for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
The event takes place at Honley Village Hall, on August 27 (11am-3pm).
As well as tea and cakes there will be about 50 raffle prizes including John Lewis and Marks and Spencer vouchers, days out and local produce.
Lee said: “We had never heard of it before – but then you find that quite a few family members and friends have passed away from pancreatic cancer.
“We hope to raise a good amount of money and we will be passing flyers with information about pancreatic cancer on the day because we want to raise the profile of it.”
Tickets are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or from Taylor’s Foodstore, Honley, on August 13.
And Lee, 35, will be running next year’s London Marathon.
You can sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lee-walkington .
For more information about pancreatic cancer visit: www.pcrf.org.uk .