Cancer mum on the buses
A NORTH Devon mum of two will be watched by millions of TV viewers and seen daily by commuters as she is pictured on buses across the South West while starring in a new thought-provoking awareness campaign by Cancer Research UK. The 53-year-old cancer sur
A NORTH Devon mum of two will be watched by millions of TV viewers and seen daily by commuters as she is pictured on buses across the South West while starring in a new thought-provoking awareness campaign by Cancer Research UK.
Deborah Huggons, a 53-year-old cancer survivor from Roborough, near Winkleigh, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2007 after noticing a lump.
After a mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy she is now in remission and was only too happy to help the charity spread its message.
The TV campaign focuses on the emotions and stark realities of hearing a specialist doctor impart the devastating news: "You've got cancer."
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They involve a series of real people talking directly to camera, with doctors who have a link to the charity's research alongside cancer patients and survivors.
On the buses, posters featuring Deborah's picture will appear on 50 vehicles in Barnstaple, Bridport, Cornwall, Exeter, Exmouth, Plymouth, Torquay, Truro and Weymouth.
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They highlight the reliable, free and comprehensive information Cancer Research UK provides for people affected by cancer, through its specialist nurse helpline and dedicated patient information website, CancerHelp UK.
"I will never forget the moment when my consultant turned to me and told me I had cancer," said Deborah, who works in Barnstaple.
"My first thoughts initially turned to my children, Esme and Ewan, but with the wonderful support of my husband Ross I was determined to get through treatment and be here for them all." Yet thanks to the work of Cancer Research UK, a cancer diagnosis does not necessarily equal a death sentence and I am living proof of that."
She was invited to take part in the TACT-2 trial which Cancer Research UK helped to fund at North Devon District Hospital, comparing different chemotherapy treatments to try and reduce side effects and improve the long term benefits.
The campaigns also highlight that more and more people are beating the disease, thanks to treatments Cancer Research UK has helped develop, but shows there is still much more to be done to defeat the disease. Locally, Deborah and her family are keen supporters of the annual Race for Life.
"I was eager to be involved in these new ad campaigns because I, and thousands more like me, have benefited from the progress made by Cancer Research UK's scientists, doctors and nurses and I wanted to help raise awareness and encourage public support so they can continue their life-saving work to beat cancer," she said.
Karen Davis, Cancer Research UK spokesman for the South West, added: "Our research is entirely funded by the generosity of the public. We hope this campaign will raise awareness of what we do and encourage people across the South West to support the charity so we can continue to help more people beat cancer."
CancerHelp UK is a website where you can find out more about cancer, its treatments and clinical trials at www.cancerhelpuk.org.
n DEBORAH Huggons is honoured to be appearing on local buses and television screens in two new awareness campaigns launched by Cancer Research UK.