A MAN who is battling cancer for the fifth time is spearheading a new campaign to help research into the disease.
John Conder, from Chichester, is asking shoppers to put Cancer Research UK’s new Give &Gift card at the top of their Christmas lists.
John donned a Santa hat and posed with a giant version of the new card during the launch at the charity’s store in South Street, Chichester.
The card is a gift donation that will help save lives – with the option for the recipient to choose the type of research they most want to support.
There are nine areas to choose from - including research into breast, brain, lung and pancreatic cancers – allowing people to support the one closest to their hearts.
John, 77, who served in the Royal Navy for 42 years before retiring, said: “I’m honoured to help launch the new Cancer Research UK Give &Gift card. It’s a great Christmas present idea, especially for people whose lives have been touched by cancer, like mine.”
John is currently in treatment for Non-Hodgkins lymphoma – his fifth battle with the disease. He was first diagnosed with NHL in 1997. He had prostate cancer in 2000 and the NHL returned in 2002 and again in 2007.
He was then offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial run by Cancer Research UK which tested a new drug using antibody treatment rather than chemotherapy.
John said: “My cancer had come back for the third time so we were really running out of options. Once I’d started on the trial I was surprised at how quickly the new drug began working. I was tired at the time but within two weeks I began feeling much better and my aches and pains had almost gone. I feel very fortunate to have taken part in the trial.”
Sadly, John’s cancer returned again six weeks ago and he is now facing radiotherapy treatment. But he is resolute about it: “Apart from the lymphoma I’m glad to say I’m hale and hearty”, he said.
“I’m very grateful for the treatment I’ve had – and continue to have. Cancer Research UK’s work is at the heart of the progress that has been made in research.”
John’s wife Susan said: “We’d like to encourage people to buy the new Give & Gift card this Christmas. It’s an innovative way to show you care.”
The Give &Gift card will help Cancer Research UK raise money for vital research, helping more adults like John, and children survive. It can be bought in £5 and £10 denominations.
Lynn Daly, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South East, said: “John’s experience of cancer shows clearly why it’s crucial to raise money to fund research.
“The Give &Gift card could be a perfect present solution as a main gift or a stocking-filler.
“The feel-good factor that comes from giving or receiving it will last longer than the tinsel and turkey. It’s a thoughtful way to show you care and means both you and the person who receives it will be helping to save lives.”
Thanks to research into cancer, hundreds of thousands of lives have already been saved. With help from the people across the South East, Cancer Research UK intends to save many more.
Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking research. So money raised through the Give & Gift card is crucial to the work of doctors, nurses and scientists who are fighting cancer on all fronts.
For more information on Cancer Research UK’s Give & Gift cards visit cruk.org/give-and-gift