Deceased stars lend voices to Pancreatic Cancer push

starsPancreatic Cancer UK is launching a major marketing and fundraising campaign, Lost Voices: Help us break through the silence, to drive donations for vital research into the deadliest common cancer, which sees more than half of the people diagnosed die within three months.

Given that there are so few survivors who would traditionally act as case studies in a charity campaign, the appeal will launch with an emotive audio piece and accompanying animation, which features the voices of many celebrities who lost their lives to pancreatic cancer.

These include Alan Rickman, Sir John Hurt, Aretha Franklin, Patrick Swayze, and Steve Jobs, as well as those of other celebrities, including pancreatic cancer survivor, actress and Ambassador for Pancreatic Cancer UK Olivia Williams and Ruby Wax, a supporter of the charity and close friend of Rickman.

Timed to coincide with Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the activity uses a combination of humour, intrigue and shocking facts, and their voices deliver a powerful collective message to educate the public about the disease and what they can do to help.

Public awareness around pancreatic cancer remains low, despite a number of high-profile celebrity deaths from the disease, including most recently American actor Willie Garson.

With this new campaign, Pancreatic Cancer UK aims to highlight the stark facts: more than half of all people diagnosed die within three months, there is no simple test to help doctors to diagnose pancreatic cancer, and many people are simply diagnosed too late to receive lifesaving treatment.

Scientists are close to a research breakthrough, so Pancreatic Cancer UK is calling on the public to donate what they can to help. Research into the disease has been critically underfunded for decades and there has been very little progress in the past 40 years, but with hope in sight, now is the time to donate and support this ground-breaking and potentially lifesaving research.

The charity is supported by high-profile figures from across the creative industries, whose lives have, in various ways, been impacted by the illness, including Rima Horton, Alan Rickman’s widow and pancreatic cancer UK Trustee, and Jehane Markham, who lost both her mother, Olive Dehn, and her husband, Roger Lloyd-Pack, to the disease.

Pancreatic Cancer UK chief executive Diana Jupp said: “Unlike other charities, we simply don’t have the army of survivors around us who do so much to provide hope and inspiration to people living with other forms of cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a truly terrifying disease – more than half of people die within three months of diagnosis. Many people, understandably, find it extremely difficult to talk about the impact on themselves and their loved ones.

“There hasn’t been enough noise around pancreatic cancer and this has meant too little research funding, too little public attention, and barely any progress in survival for more than 40 years.

“By harnessing the lost voices of some of the extraordinarily talented celebrities who have sadly died from pancreatic cancer, we want to break through the silence. Through the voices of Alan Rickman, John Hurt and the many others who have helped us with this, we are speaking up on behalf of all those we have lost, to demand more and demand better for everyone affected by the deadliest common cancer.

“Our Lost Voices campaign is the first of many innovative new ways we’ll be using to communicate the desperate need for progress on pancreatic cancer, to urge the public to help us find a cure.”

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