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Wife of pancreatic cancer victim fights to overhaul funding for the disease
5:38pm Tuesday 11th March 2014 in News
THE wife of an Evesham man who died of pancreatic cancer has thrown her support behind a petition calling for more funding towards finding a cure for the disease.
Pete Francis was diagnosed with the disease in 2011 and died in December 2012, just days after his 70th birthday.
Now his wife Sandra is calling for people in Worcestershire to support a petition calling for the government to review its funding towards treating the disease, the fifth most deadly form of cancer.
Grandmother-of-five Mrs Francis said only three per cent of those diagnosed with the disease lived more than five years.
"When you're diagnosed it's a death sentence," she said. "That's a known fact.
"The case of my husband was devastating.
"By the time we got to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham the tumour had already wrapped around a vein so there was nothing they could do.
"We did have another 11 months after that though - he was a fighter.
"I want to carry on in his name and get things changed."
The 63-year-old said just one per cent of government funding towards fighting forms of cancer goes towards pancreatic cancer, well below the amount spent on other forms of the condition such as breast or bowel cancer.
"We want the government to equate funding between the the different forms of cancer," she said
"We're not saying this cancer is any more important but it does only get one per cent of the funding.
"That has not changed for 40 years.
The petition - which was set up by friend of Mrs Francis Maggie Watts - has already received 48,903 signatures and will be considered for debate by the backbench business committee if it passes the 100,000 mark by its closing date of Tuesday, April 8.
Mrs Frances said she along with a group of friends from the Facebook group Pancreatic Cancer Awareness were working flat-out to get more than 50,000 more people to add their names to the petition.
"I joined the group shortly after my husband died and they've been really supportive," she said.
"There's a group of us desperately trying to get it above 100,000.
"We've only got a few weeks and we're not there yet."
It is estimated that about 8,300 people in the UK die from pancreatic cancer every year, or 23 a day.
To sign the online petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48389
Once the petition is signed check your email and click the link to confirm your signature. If this is not done your signature will not be counted.
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