Did you know that 527 people are diagnosed with cancer every week in Yorkshire? Did you know that people in Yorkshire are more likely to get cancer and are more likely to die from it than most other counties in England? Those are scary facts which Just Beverley was unaware of! But before we all put our houses on the market and desert out beautiful county, there is an organisation which is set to help.
Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) want to change those awful statistics. The high incidence of cancer in Yorkshire is not just due to our industrial heritage and lifestyle choices, but also due to disparities in the availability of healthcare services and inequalities in accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments. So YCR is committed to investing £100m over the next 10 years to tackle those issues and reduce the deaths from cancer by 2,000 people per year.
That is clearly a tall order! But the lady set to help facilitate those changes in this area is up for the challenge. Adrienne Hodgson has a family history of breast cancer and knows how devastating it can be. Her own mother died of breast cancer at the age of 55 when she was only 20. Her father was unable to cope with his loss so Adrienne had to organise her mother’s funeral, which did not give her time to grieve, leading in turn to her own health issues.
Before working for YCR, Adrienne worked for St Andrew’s Children’s Hospice in Grimsby which provides palliative care services for children in East Yorkshire which provided her with more evidence of the practical difficulties people of all ages have dealing with a diagnosis of cancer. Adrienne is passionate about the way YCR is changing its objectives to concentrate on patient-centred research.
As she said “There are other organisations which concentrate on clinical research, trying to find a cure for cancer, but we can help Yorkshire people more directly with our own Yorkshire funds by working within the community to improve understanding of cancer, increasing the number of people who go for screening and supporting them by researching and campaigning for the best healthcare services.”
So Adrienne, who is Beverley born and bred, is keen to develop her new Regional Fundraiser role in three ways. First is to give the local volunteer fundraising committees as much support as she possibly can as their work is vital to the organisation; she wants to be seen positively helping with their efforts by taking part in fund-raising challenges and being seen as a leader, not just a manager. Second, Adrienne wants to link up with businesses and other organisations in partnership so they work together to the benefit of patients.
Third, she wants to talk to as many people as she possibly can about cancer, cancer screening, adopting a healthy lifestyle and accepting that there is nothing to be embarrassed about if we think there is something wrong with us, as we all have a body which sometimes doesn’t work as it should!
Adrienne told Just Beverley “One of our studies is being conducted at the Hull York Medical School to find out why people with suspected cancers fail to turn up to urgent screening appointments. Early diagnosis and treatment significantly impacts on the outcome so we need to find out why almost 1 in 5 people, who have had an urgent referral by their GP, do not keep the appointment. If everyone was treated in a timely manner the figures for Yorkshire could be significantly improved.”
Adrienne has always enjoyed testing her own resolve. She has already done a fire-walk and abseiled down the Humber Bridge, so her next fund-raising feat had to be more dramatic. So she has put herself forward to do a wing walk on a bi-plane! Adrienne would be delighted if you would sponsor her or even go and watch her details will be announced soon.
More details about Yorkshire Cancer Research can be found at www.yorkshirecancerresearch.co.uk. Adrienne can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07464 925594.