World Cancer Day 2020
Updated: Jun 10
February 4th of each year is World Cancer Day, but what exactly is World Cancer Day?
I first heard about World Cancer Day a couple of weeks after my amazing Mum had died of cancer, so quite honestly I wasn't in the slightest bit interested in a day specifically dedicated to this monstrous disease - and I know lots of people still feel this way.
In the past I've seen the big cancer research organisations use World Cancer Day as an opportunity to update us on their progress, to explain how far we've come in finding new treatments for cancer, and to reassure us that more and more people are now surviving cancer. But again, all of this made little difference to my precious Mum's prognosis, so yet again I found myself thinking "so what" about World Cancer Day.
I found out that officially World Cancer Day is an 'international day, marked on February 4th to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment, World Cancer Day is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. And I discovered, that the primary goal of the World Cancer Declaration is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer.
That's all very reassuring, but I still found myself wondering what the real impact of World Cancer Day might be. Until this year... when I was invited by Avril Chester, founder of Cancer Central, to stand together with 17 cancer support organisations from around the UK, in a show of support and solidarity for those going through cancer.
We got together to produce the heartwarming short film above, in a bid to raise awareness of cancer and to provide support to everyone affected by the disease. This uplifting film called ‘Standing Together’ sees leaders and representative from 17 of the UK's leading cancer support organisations reading aloud a moving poem written by the talented Avril Chester, founder of Cancer Central.
Cancer organisations ‘Standing Together’ include (in alphabetical order) - ABC Diagnosis, Anthony Nolan, Bowel Cancer UK, Breast Cancer Now, Cancer Care Map, Cancer Central, Cancer on Board, CancerPal, Duffus Cancer Foundation, Lymphoma Outloud, Met UP UK, Mummy’s Star, SimPal, Teenage Cancer Trust, World Child Cancer, Worldwide Cancer Research, Youth Cancer Trust.
“There are so many amazing organisations out there who provide incredible support and help. ‘Standing Together’ is an important film that I hope resonates with those who watch it and offers some support to those in need of it right now. Please watch and share this video on World Cancer Day to let people know they’re not alone, and that by ‘Standing Together’ we can do more to support everyone who needs it.” Avril Chester
The poem touches on being united together and that this friendship between charities is something cancer cannot destroy.
So now, for me, World Cancer Day represents the opportunity to stand together to show our support to everyone going through cancer, their friends, family and loved ones, the cancer carers, the survivors, the warriors, those living with cancer and of course those who have sadly lost their lives to cancer - including my amazing Mum.