Pancreatic Cancer Action Blog

Lockton raises an incredible £67,200 for Pancreatic Cancer Action after a successful year of fundraising

20140714_151500Since selecting us as their Charity of the Year over a year ago, Lockton Associates in the UK have together raised over £67,000 for us, involving numerous challenges and events taken on by scores of enthusiastic and supportive employees. 

Associates have taken part in everything from gruelling cycle challenges to charity poker nights, and from dress up days to marathons.  It was truly remarkable the lengths people went to, to raise awareness and funds to help us in our fights against the fifth biggest cancer killer.  Alex Boswell, for example, completed two marathons and trekked 54 miles while Jamie Simon took part in the first ever white collar fight night for the insurance industry. 


Ali Stunt, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action, said; “We are so grateful to Lockton for a brilliant year of fundraising for us.  They raised an amazing amount and it is such a fantastic result for a workforce of 750 employees.

“As a small charity, this is a significant amount of money for us and will have a direct impact on our work: helping us to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, educate the public and medical community and fund vital research.”

Lockton is the world’s biggest private insurance broker. The company was founded in Kansas City in 1966 by Jack Lockton, who lost his own battle with pancreatic cancer in 2004, six years after his diagnosis.

Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) is a national charity founded in 2010 by a rare 5-year survivor of the disease. With a focus on early diagnosis, PCA aims to improve the currently dire survival rates through medical education, greater public awareness, better disease information and research specifically to improve early diagnosis.

Since 2009, Lockton Associates in the UK have together raised more than £350,000 for four Charity Partners, an outstanding effort from a workforce of 750 Associates. Previous Lockton Charity Partners have included Help for Heroes, Macmillan Cancer Support, Alzheimers Society and Whizz Kidz.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the Charity Champions, led by Simon Coleman COO, the fundraisers and everyone at Lockton who put so much time into supporting us,” continues Ali. “We wish everyone at Lockton UK every success in both the company’s future and their work with future charities.”

Ask your MP to attend the debate on 8th September



Can we please ask that you write a letter to your MP as soon as possible asking them to attend the debate. We have pasted a template letter/e-mail below for you to adapt and use if you wish, which can be downloaded here: MP-template-letter-Debate 8th September

If you are unsure who to write to, find your MP here.

It’s important that we get as many MPs as possible to support this.

Thank you for your help!



[insert your address]


Dear X,


As a member of your constituency, I am writing to you to ask you to attend an important debate on 8th September 2014 that could literally change lives of patients and families affected by pancreatic cancer.  With just a three per cent survival rate, diagnosis of this disease leaves patients and families with little hope of a happy outcome.

<insert your personal story here e.g. I lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer, a disease I’d never heard of, in XX…>

The fifth biggest cancer killer in the UK, pancreatic cancer has been little known, poorly understood and chronically underfunded for decades. 

The debate will take place between 4:30pm and 7.30pm in Westminster Hall, and the backbench committee will be discussing providing more funding and awareness for pancreatic cancer, which is set to become the UK’s fourth biggest cancer killer by 2030.

This follows a successful petition, which passed the 100,000 signature mark in April, started by Maggie Watts.

Maggie from Scunthorpe started the petition following the death of her husband Kevin, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009 aged 48, 40 years after his mother died of the same illness.  In the 40 years between Kevin and his mother’s death, the five year survival rate of just 3% has not changed. 

The need for this debate is even more urgent following a question posed by Luciana Berger, Public Health Shadow Minister on 31st March, which highlighted a decrease in overall cancer funding of almost £19 million between 2012 and 2013.  Considering pancreatic cancer already receives a tiny proportion of cancer research funding, less than 1%, the impact of this on future pancreatic cancer research is alarming. 

At just three per cent, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all 22 common cancers.  In comparison, 85% of breast cancer patients and 81% of prostate cancer patients will still be alive five years after diagnosis. In fact, pancreatic cancer has one of the highest incident-to-mortality rates of almost ANY disease.

The UK lags behind the rest of Europe in terms of the one-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer.  The UK average is 17 per cent, the European average is 21 per cent and the best in Europe (Belgium) is 28 per cent. 

Please help to change outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients now and the future by attending the debate.  We need as many MPs to come forward and participate in the debate. If you are considering attending, please contact Mr Nic Dakin MP via email:

Please could you also consider getting involved in the APPG Inquiry on Pancreatic Cancer Research where along with your parliamentary colleagues you can help support the inquiry into pancreatic cancer research? 

I would be happy to talk to you about this further either over the phone or in person. 

I look forward to your response and thank you in advance. 

Kindest regards,


[Insert name]

Friend inspires Yorkshire triathlete complete the gruelling Ironman in Nice

Clare Ouddanne shares the experience of her husband, Karim, completing the unbelievable NICE Ironman in June to raise funds for us.


“Got to the airport on Thursday at 5am to find our flight had been cancelled due to the French strike.   We pleaded our cause and were re-booked via Luxemburg and escorted like royalty to make our connecting flight to  Nice.  Sadly our cases weren’t so fortunate and ended up in Frankfurt but with some negotiation we were reunited late the same day!

The race started at 6.30am on Sunday  so Karim was up eating his breakfast at about 3am and we headed off to the start at 5.    The swim was first and to see nearly 3000 people enter the sea  was amazing.    After the 2.4 mile swim he had a 112 mile bike ride up into the mountains on a huge circuit of the local countryside.    He had a bit of a fall at the start of the ride but after a quick once-over by a marshall was allowed to carry on.    We hoped this part of the race would take about 6 hours so took our places by the barriers to wait for him to return – seemed a lifetime but after just over 7 hours he made it back and prepared himself for the Marathon.   

Running has always been Karim’s stongest sport and he was amazing – finishing the 26.2 miles in just 4 hours 15 - that’s a time most runners would be proud of without the swim and ride beforehand.

The run was 4 circuits of the sea front in Nice which meant we could see him pass each lap.     The whole race took him 13 hours and 30 minutes.

It’s a huge achievement and he took part with his friends John Scott and Ian Hacon.   John drove down to Nice in a motor home with the 3 bikes and is still on his way home with his wife Michelle.

We’ve chosen to support Pancreatic Cancer Action because my close friend Ruth had a Neuroendocrine tumour in her pancreas and had the Whipple operation almost 4 years ago at Addenbrooks.   It took nearly 2 years for her to be diagnosed and she was fortunate to be able to have this life-saving operation. “

If you would like to support Karim in his fundraising efforts, you can visit his fundraising page:



Debate update from Maggie Watts



The petition calling for more funding and awareness for pancreatic cancer ended on 8th April 2014 with over 106,000 signatures.  Thank you again to everyone who signed and pushed the petition.  

Following a positive reaction to the submission to the backbench committee on 7th May by Nic Dakin MP and Eric Ollerenshaw OBE MP, we are waiting to hear confirmation of the date of the debate.  




Here is an update from Maggie Watts, who started in the petition in April 2013, on when the debate is likely to take place.

“I had previously mentioned that we were hoping for a debate some time in June/July as the request ad already been pitched to the Backbench Business Committee (BBC) just before Parliament prorogued but there was not an opportunity for the Debate to be held before Parliament ended. Therefore, we were waiting for the BBC to be re-formed after the Queen’s Speech.

“Natascha Engel has now been reinstated as the Chair of the BBC. We were hoping for the Debate to be carried out in the main chamber but were offered a slot in Westminster Halls. The Westminster Halls slots are on a Monday afternoon and the only slot which would suit all parties concerned would be 21 July. Given that Parliament breaks on 22 July, my concern is would there be sufficient MPs available to merit a worthy Debate so close to the Parliamentary break.

“Therefore, it’s looking likely that the Debate may not happen until after the Summer recess. Whilst my preference was to have the Debate sooner rather than later, I accept that this timing may not get the best outcome and my priority is ensuring that the Debate results in the best outcome/highest profile possible for Pancreatic Cancer – I hope you agree. I will keep you posted when there is more news.”

Maggie Watts from Scunthorpe started the petition following the death of her husband Kevin, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009 aged 48, 40 years after his mother died of the same illness.  Maggie said, “In the 40 years between Kevin and his mother’s death, the shockingly low survival rate of pancreatic cancer has not changed, while survival rates for many other cancers have improved significantly.  I was motivated to start the petition so that the government would dedicate more funds into research so that future patients will hopefully face much better prospects.”

930 miles in 9 days for Pancreatic Cancer Action


Richard Bousfield

Along with eight friends, seven other cyclists and a driver, Richard Bousfield cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats in nine days.  Between Friday 6th June and Saturday 14th June, they covered an impressive 930 miles.  You can view photos from their intrepid journey here:

Richard raised over £1800 for us taking on this challenge.  His inspiration was a close friend of his who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.

Before taking on this challenge, this is what Richard said: ”Back in September 2013 I foolishly agreed to embark on a massive challenge courtesy of my friend Andy Taylor and his mid life crisis. With a beer in my hand (not the first of the night-nor last) I said I would be up for cycling from one end of the country to the other.

“After buying a bike and all the associated paraphernalia including the surprisingly comfortabe if not a little obscene lycra. Training is tough but going well.

“Once I agreed to take up the challenge then I knew I wanted to raise money for a good cause. Last year a neighbour of mine was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and her spirit and strength is a great inspiration to me. She is a fantastic person and we are all hoping that there is a positive outcome. Sadly though survival rates from this disease are low, standing at just 3%.”



The views expressed in this blog are the authors' own.