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  • Madeleine Cowey

Standing up to Cancer


I really just wanted to make a short post about the recent Stand up to Cancer campaign, shown on Channel 4 this weekend, which I hear raised over £24,000,000 for the charity!!

Firstly, that level of fundraising is absolutely incredible and makes me very happy.

Secondly, I am so grateful for such a large audience learning about cancer, and the fact that the show did not solely focus on the more common cancers, but also rare cancers that often affect children and young people.

We need to stop perpetuating the image of cancer as an old person's disease as it really can happen to any of us!

Mainly, I would like to comment on something that Deborah James aka BowelBabe (check out her Instagram and column she is amazing!!) touched on, as she herself suffers with stage 4 bowel cancer and fervently backed the Su2C campaign. Deborah continually rejects the use of battle-vocabulary when talking about cancer, and I too am passionate about the negative impacts these words can have (I've written a blog on Bravery - check it out!) We as cancer sufferers are not 'fighters', we are not 'soldiers', and are not at 'war' with our illness. It is an unfair fight. However, as human beings, as a society, we can try to fight cancer, and 'stand up' to it. We can raise money to fund research into treatments, we can raise awareness to lead to faster diagnoses and catch the disease in its earliest stages, we can improve support networks, and broaden the cancer conversation. This way we can slowly get closer to stopping cancer in its tracks.

Moreover, by coming together, the war against cancer becomes more feasible. One person cannot be expected to fight alone, and that kind of pressure should not be put on cancer sufferers, who even if they survive have never truly 'won' anything, living forever with the threat of return. We are simply unlucky. This is what Stand up to Cancer is all about and why it involves so many people, as no matter if you have anything to do with the big C or not you can help, and we can come closer to making it a more 'palatable' disease.

Finally, thank you to Su2C for remembering and respecting many cancer sufferers - whether that be survivors, those who didn't survive, or those who are living with cancer (for example Emily Hayward, and Deborah James). I am inspired on a daily basis by these people and it's great to see them doing such amazing things for cancer awareness and research.

Thanks for reading and if you find the time give some of the su2c specials a watch, they are very touching but also rather entertaining. And if you can, as always, donate. :) (I've put some links to mentioned people and sites below.)

M x


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