Cancer treatment: Jodie Kidd is raising awareness about incurable cancers
Jodie Kidd has spoken out about the lessons she has learnt from losing her sister-in-law to cancer earlier this year.
The 38-year-old TV presenter and former model revealed how she regrets not making the most of Sandy’s last months alive before losing her to pancreatic cancer in February.
She wants to raise awareness of how precious the time spent with a loved one who has a cancer diagnosis is, and is supporting a new campaign about the importance of access to modern treatments for incurable cancer patients in the UK.
Ovacome, Fight Bladder Cancer, Action on Womb Cancer, Melanoma UK and Second Hope, along with Roche Products Ltd, are calling for better access to treatments that can provide terminal patients with extra quality time with loved ones.
Cancer treatment: Half of cancers in England are diagnosed at late stage
It is so vital to treasure the time you have left with someone. People shouldn’t be afraid to talk about incurable cancer – there can be a tendency to have that stiff British upper lip about it.
Kidd told Express.co.uk: “It is so vital to treasure the time you have left with someone.
“People shouldn’t be afraid to talk about incurable cancer – there can be a tendency to have that stiff British upper lip about it.
“When we found out in 2016 that Sandy had been diagnosed, we were very much in denial about the whole thing because she looked fine and seemed so strong..
“We were so focused on the idea that she was going to get better and beat it that we perhaps forgot how valuable that time was and didn’t make the most of it with her.
“As we are a strong family, I don’t think she wanted anyone to think she wasn’t fighting every step of the way – I think we got swept up in that.
“When she got very poorly very quickly we almost ran out of time to do the things we wanted to do with her.”
Cancer treatment: Jodie Kidd is encouraging people to spend quality time with loved ones
Medical advances have led to increased survival for terminal patients, however UK rates fall behind the rest of Europe.
Access to treatments that can give a sufferer extra time are inconsistent and under threat.
“Cancer incidence is on the rise, with the number of people living with the disease being expected to grow by around one million every decade between 2010 and 2030,” said Louise Bayne, CEO of Ovacome.
“Yet, access to treatments which have the potential to increase survival for terminal patients is inconsistent and under threat in the UK.”
Cancer treatment: Jodie Kidd’s sister-in-law Sandy died of pancreatic cancer
“At a time when the NHS faces criticism, we see how important it is for families to know they are getting the very best treatments.
“We want to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the tireless NHS workforce who take such good care of cancer patients and provide them with treatments that provide them with quality time to spend with their loved ones.
“We are concerned that these treatments and care may not be available to cancer patients in the future, and we are passionate about protecting access in the UK so that others may benefit in years to come.”
In the UK, almost half of cancer cases in England are diagnosed at a late stage – as was the case with Sandy.
Cancer treatment: The campaign is encouraging awareness of access to treatments
Kidd explained: “She became ill and was diagnosed abroad, and when she returned to the UK got poorly very quickly and it became very difficult to do things.
“There are things we should’ve done earlier while we had the chance – she wanted to go to countryside, but her cancer had got so aggressive that she was too unwell to leave the hospital.
“I wish we had utilised our time with her more – got in the car, gone to the beach, took a walk, had a lovely dinner – but we ran out of time and had to face the inevitable.
“I want to encourage people to make the most of every second, minute and hour with their loved one who has a cancer diagnosis.”
The campaign is asking for the public to show their their support for incurable cancer patients being given access to treatments that could give them extra time by sharing the campaign videos with the #TimeOfMyLife.