Scotland

Lesley takes on JogJan for PanCan in memory of mum

Lesley Irving shares the heartbreaking story of losing her mum, Pauline, to pancreatic cancer in 2020 and why she's taking on this year's JogJan for PanCan challenge in her memory.

Lesley Irving taking part in JogJan for PanCan
Lesley Irving & Pauline Irving

“Mum sadly passed away on Saturday the 6th of June 2020, from pancreatic cancer 5 days short of her 73rd birthday. From being fit and of good health she was given 3 months at the end of February and spent 9 weeks with our dad by her side every step of the way in Ayrshire hospice. Difficult times were made even harder due to the virus restrictions meaning Calum (my brother) could only visit for limited times when in normal circumstances it would be 24/7.

The week before we took mum to the hospice her chemo was cancelled and due to her health deteriorating a decision to take the hospice place was made, I drove my mum and dad there but knew my brother had to say goodbye so decided to swap visitor names(this had to be a decision made on arrival as names could not be changed once finalised) so he could visit.  Dad wasn’t aloud to leave and slept in a bed next to her for the next 9 weeks as she battled her cancer.  On her final week they pulled mums bed to the window so I could say goodbye…. it was so traumatic as I couldn’t  reach her hand to hold it and support her, a horrible time made even harder because of Covid.

Since then I have supported the charity and raised over £6000 to be split between PCA and Ayrshire hospice. I have organised a successful light up campaign including Edinburgh castle and Glasgow central amongst others, alongside radio interviews and media articles.  When mum passed away I felt so lost and needed a positive focus. JogJan for PanCan then came up and it felt right to get involved again. I am looking forward to helping the charity as much as I can in the future in the hope to give other families better outcomes.”