At long last, we can begin to have hope as we all prepare to emerge from lockdown, after a year that for all of us has been one of turbulence, anxiety and change. Going forward, we can expect things to be different - perhaps never really returning to the normal we knew before. In some ways, this may prove to be a good thing. However, there is one aspect that remained persistent through lockdown and will continue to be so in the lives of so many. Cancer proved unperturbed by the arrival of the pandemic and continues to affect thousands of lives across the country. Despite treatments being halted, diagnosis numbers declining, and friends and families missing critical moments and time with their loved ones in lockdown, cancer remains a dominating force in thousands of lives. Over the last 13 months, charities and organisations that work with cancer patients, their families and their care providers have had to adapt to incredibly challenging times in order to maintain their vital support.
We would like to recognise a charity that we have the privilege to work with closely on a regular basis. Bowel Cancer UK is one of many cancer charities that have continued to work tirelessly through the pandemic to help deliver its vital services and support to its far reaching community.
Established in 1987, officially changing its name to Bowel Cancer UK as of 2005, this charity has worked hard to promote understanding, deliver education and provide guidance and support for a cancer that previously had few treatment options and little in depth research or public awareness. It was set up by Patrick Dolan after he sadly lost his wife, Britta, to bowel cancer, and he was determined to raise awareness, increase support, and provide resources for clinical researchers so that others with bowel cancer would not be faced with limited treatment options. His fundraising efforts were remarkable, and since then the charity has gone from strength to strength.
Now, they deliver incredibly important services across the country. They provide support for anyone affected by bowel cancer - not just the patients themselves but for their loved ones too. A cancer diagnosis heralds the beginning of a frightening and often lonely time, and so having support readily available is key to looking after the mental health of those affected. They campaign for better and more accessible treatment options for bowel cancer, as well as helping to fund research. Bowel cancer is often thought to only affect those over 50, but more and more it is affecting younger people too. Research is needed to continually look for ways to improve quality of life as well as preventing, treating, and finding the disease as early as possible to give the best possible outcome. Finally, a huge part of their work is education. Education is vital, not just to raise awareness of symptoms to look out for, but to constantly aid healthcare professionals in their understanding and approach to the disease and their treatment of it.
The survival rate for bowel cancer in the UK has more than doubled in the last 40 years, testament in part to the incredible work that charities like Bowel Cancer UK undertake. However, even with the work already achieved, the survival rate after diagnosis begins to fall after five years, with a survival rate of around 50% by the ten year mark (data for England between 2013 and 2017). Each loss is monumental and impacts the lives of loved ones left behind, and so bowel cancer continues to affect thousands of people across the UK each year.
It’s here that we step in and try to do our part to help those affected.
Naming a star in remembrance of a loved one can help to bring comfort during what is an incredibly difficult time. Our star register contains many dedications to loved ones who are no longer with us, and it is always moving to see just how much love there is in the messages and star names on each and every one.
It is a pleasure to work with and support Bowel Cancer UK, and I hope that we can continue to help provide a little bit of starlight during dark times for its supporters across the UK.
You know yourself and your body more than anyone else ever could - if something doesn’t feel right, even if it’s something small, get it checked out for your peace of mind. Even with coronavirus, hospitals and GP’s are there for your health, whatever your concern, and have all the necessary steps in place to keep you safe. The earlier cancer is caught, the better a prognosis is likely to be, so don’t hesitate to book an appointment should anything be worrying you.
If you or someone you know has recently experienced a loss and you would like to name a star in their memory, we’re on hand to assist you to do so. We truly do believe that naming a star after someone special who is no longer with us is a meaningful and beautiful way to honour their memory. Feel free to look at our available packages here:
And our package that Bowel Cancer UK recommend for their supporters:
Please do get in touch should you have any questions at all - we know how important remembrance star naming's are and we are more than happy to help make sure that it is absolutely perfect for you.
Do you work with a charity and are interested in working with us? Get in touch and we will be happy to see what we can do for you:
The Star Name Registry Team