Tuesday, 9 July 2013


Yesterday, I looked at some STATISTICS – and lost the plot a bit. Statistics always do that to me, and usually I avoid ‘seeing’ them if at all possible. Plus I usually don’t take any notice of them, because ‘statistically’ I should probably be dead. And as I’m not, I feel justified in ignoring them. A bit like weather reports. But the big bill board was a bit hard to NOT see, which led to the ‘omg! omg!’ attack. Fear creates anger in my head. Then I need to DO something, which is not always possible.

But, saying that, something useful DID come of my Statistic Shriek. I was reading an article [copied in below, as they sometimes disappear – actual article here] about the sad death of Pierce Brosnan's daughter, Charlotte, and I discovered that in the UK, women at high risk are eligible for annual screening once they reach the age of 35, or are five years away from when their youngest relative was diagnosed with the disease.

This is great! And why didn’t I know? Please share this information. It could save someone's life.


Pierce Brosnan with his daughter Charlotte, who has died of ovarian cancer, aged 42

“Catch ovarian cancer before the disease catches you

By Max Pemberton

The death of Pierce Brosnan's daughter, Charlotte, from ovarian cancer must increase awareness of this often ignored disease.

The sad news last week that Pierce Brosnan’s daughter, Charlotte Emily, has died of ovarian cancer at the age of 42 has put this oft-ignored disease on the news agenda. It is the fifth most common cancer in women, with 7,000 cases diagnosed annually in the UK, yet it is rarely in the headlines compared with, say, breast or cervical cancer.
Ovarian cancer has been linked to certain genetic mutations that are also implicated in breast cancer; and the tragedy of Charlotte’s death was compounded by the fact that her mother Cassandra, Brosnan’s first wife, died of the same disease in 1991.
Whenever someone in the public eye is diagnosed with or dies from a disease, the number of anxious people visiting their GP with apparent symptoms rises. Often, these are the ''worried well’’, but in the case of ovarian cancer, not all women who may be at increased risk realise they are entitled to regular monitoring on the NHS.
If any good can come from this death, it is an increased awareness of the support and screening services available for women with a higher-than-average chance of developing the disease. They include those who have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer (two or more close relatives from the same side of the family, such as a mother, sister or daughter, who are diagnosed under the age of 50). Such women may have inherited a mutation on the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene and can be referred for genetic testing.
The chance of developing ovarian cancer for most women is one in 50, but for those with this mutation, the risk rises to between 15 and 45 per cent.

Women at high risk are eligible for annual screening once they reach the age of 35, or are five years away from when their youngest relative was diagnosed with the disease. Screening includes a blood test for a chemical that is sometimes produced by ovarian cancer cells and an ultrasound scan.
Anyone concerned about the risk of ovarian cancer should use the online information tool called Opera (http://www.macmillan.org.uk), which will help them decide whether they should seek medical advice.”

funDraising – it’s not ‘fun’ – the ‘d’ stands for desperate

I am starting to think that people assume that we are raising money for the fun of it.  Not me; my friends and family have been wonderfully supportive of my efforts – but recently I have been trying to help my friend and fellow Cuba cyclist, Kate, to reach her target. I have sent out emails to various business groups we have both been/are involved in – and the result has been A Resounding Silence from the majority of the recipients. Not all – but most.

And it’s  A Resounding Silence that makes me cross. And VERY disappointed. And very upset. It’s enough to make you cry. We are not fund raising for ourselves! This is not about personal gain. We are not fund raising because it’s ‘fun’. We are fund raising because the situation is desperate.

So it’s upsetting when people who you KNOW could afford a fiver, well – they just don’t. And yes, I know everyone has their own charity – but it doesn’t help me feeling that a tiny donation – a pound even? – would be kind. We are supposed to be a team – business networking is supposed to create that. Well. Pfft! To say I am disappointed with the Business Network ‘support’ is a huge understatement.


Check this out – a woman dies EVERY TEN HOURS of ovarian cancer…every ten hours! FFS!! IT’S ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SCREAM WITH TERROR!

The treatment of ovarian cancer has not changed much in the last 10 years. This is not a good thing. EVERYTHING else has changed in that time. We have mobile phones that we can see each other when we call – we have electric cars; we have microwave ovens; using a machine-brain interface, researchers are making it possible for otherwise paralyzed humans to control neuroprostheses – essentially mechanical limbs that respond to human thought – allowing them to walk; the Eye of Gaia, a billion-pixel telescope will be sent into space this year to begin photographing and mapping the universe on a scale that was recently impossible; The Mars Science Laboratory – by August 2012, the next mission to Mars will reach the Martian surface with a new rover named Curiosity focusing on whether Mars could ever have supported life, and whether it might be able to in the future.

I ask this – is it more important to see if Mars ever supported life or is it more important to make life that we have already, less agonising when we pass or less agonising to survive??

Women who die of ovarian cancer do NOT go “gentle into that good night". They go kicking and screaming – they don’t want to die. Usually they are far too young – in my experience anyway. They leave behind children, husbands – life. But it takes them. It takes them and it does it in a hideous and painful way. Death by ovarian cancer us NOT a gentle passing.

So please. PLEASE help us? No donation is too small – yes – you have heard it all before, but every time you hear it, it’s meant. Every single charity DOES need and deserve our help. But in this instance, we are asking for just a little donation. EVERYONE will either suffer cancer themselves in their lives or have a dear relative or friend suffer it.

Kate’s justgiving address is HERE – please – if you can – as I said; no donation is too small.

Thank you. And thank you for reading too – and my apologies for the rage, but I feel so strongly about this…