Cancer patient Susan Stannard was invited by the charity Breast Cancer Campaign to make a speech last week at its annual “thank you” reception at the House of Lords.
Susan, of Caythorpe, has undergone treatment for the disease since being diagnosed in 2011 and spoke of how privileged she felt to be there.
She said: “The treatment I have received over the last three and a half years stems in large measure from research that this amazing charity has been behind, which has led to huge improvements in survival rates over the last twenty years. The disease still kills over 12,000 women and a small number of men in the UK every year, all of which deaths come from secondary breast cancer. Over the next twenty years the objective is to make secondary breast cancer a chronic rather than a terminal disease, and with the advances that are being made this feels like a realistic target.”
The event was hosted by Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe in the Cholmondeley Room and the Terrace, and Breast Cancer Campaign’s chief executive Baroness Delyth Morgan presented a number of awards. These included Research team of the year, which went to Professor Eric Lam and his team for their pioneering work on why breast cancer stops responding to chemotherapy, and other awards recognised the outstanding achievements of individual, regional and corporate fund-raisers.
The reception was attended by over 300 supporters of the charity, including a number of MPs and celebrities.
Susan added: “I met some extraordinary people, including a woman of 81 who has completed the last 11 London Marathons raising nearly £50,000 for Campaign, and really enjoyed speaking to scientists and supporters alike. I was very moved by the response to my speech, and even managed to raise a laugh when I mentioned the fact that my right breast was one of the first to be donated to the Nottingham Tissue Bank!”