Petition to secure cancer drug debate in Parliament

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A woman with Harris connections hopes that islanders will back her Facebook appeal to support a petition to ensure cancer drug Abraxane used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer - and already available to patients in Scotland and Wales - can be accessed by patients in England.

Fiona Brown’s mother Chrissie, who was originally from Harris, sadly passed away in 2003 at the age of 56 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

In 2014 Fiona asked Gazette readers to help achieve 100,000 signatures for a petition in order that the treatment of the disease could be debated in Parliament.

She said this week: “I believe having the article online with the Stornoway Gazette played a huge part in helping us achieve the 100,000 signatures needed and I’m wondering if your readers could help again.”

Fiona’s Facebook post said: “As many of you know I sadly lost my dear mum to pancreatic cancer in March 2003. At the time I was told it was a rare form of cancer.

In December 2013 I read an article in my local paper highlighting the dreadful statistics for pancreatic cancer. It was no longer rare!

I then discovered an amazing group of people called The Purple Family who together through loss and grief caused by this awful disease work together to support each other and to campaign for increased awareness, funding and research to help drive a change to the statistics for pancreatic cancer.

I had to join them - in memory of my mum and in the fight against a cancer that is currently the UK’s 5th biggest cancer killer and now predicted to be the 2nd biggest cancer killer by 2020.

We are extremely grateful for all the help people have provided by supporting our awareness campaigns and petition appeals - Thank You!

There is progress being made, but as we all know progress with cancer takes time, sadly people don’t always have time.

There is a drug called Abraxane which, on average can help provide an extra two months survival to pancreatic cancer patients - in some cases even up to two years longer.

If you knew someone that had pancreatic cancer would you like them to have access to this drug?

They can if they live in Scotland and Wales and most of the Western World. However, Abraxane is sadly not available in England anymore and there is a petition appeal requesting a debate in Parliament to discuss this and campaign for it to be made available again.

But we need 100,000 signatures by Friday 4th March 2016 to achieve this (at the moment the petition has just over 36,500 signatures).

Supporting this petition will help us to continue to shine the light on Pancreatic Cancer and keep a high public profile on this cancer, so even if you don’t think this issue affects you it would mean so much if you could continue to support us.

If you can please take a few minutes to sign and share and then click on the email you receive to confirm your details we would be so very grateful.

The email part is essential to make sure your signature counts so please check your junk mail in case it goes in there.

Please share with your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to do the same.”

If you would like to support this petition log on to: website