Mum-of-two Flora Skeates says she owes her life to cancer research after surviving bowel cancer twice within two years. That is why she is representing Cancer Research UK in a stunning new photographic exhibition to encourage people to remember the charity in their Will.
Flora, 35, of Virginia Water, was 28 when she was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2003. It was treated successfully with surgery at first but returned in 2005. She had further surgery and chemotherapy, and was treated with a drug called oxaliplatin. Cancer Research UK was instrumental in the clinical trials that led to the use of oxaliplatin to treat bowel cancer.
This striking image shows Flora sharing a precious moment with daughter Isabella (2½) and baby son Arthur (10 weeks) – a moment only made possible thanks to treatments that Cancer Research UK helped to develop.
The image is one of 40 being featured this week in Legacies through a Lens, a photographic exhibition at the Oxo Tower on London’s South Bank from Wednesday 15th – Sunday 19th September*.
The exhibition forms part of charity consortium Remember A Charity’s annual awareness week, which runs from 13th – 19th September. Few people realise that legacies are the single largest voluntary income for charities today. In fact, the sector receives nearly £2 billion**, in this way every year.
Legacies fund more than a third of Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving research into preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer, and play a crucial role in ensuring more people like Flora get the chance to enjoy life’s precious moments.
Flora said: “Being diagnosed with bowel cancer at such a young age was a real shock. Fortunately, thanks to research that has been undertaken over the years, most bowel cancers are very treatable if they are caught early. I feel so lucky to have got through what I did – to be able to have a family and see them grow, it’s the most precious thing in the world. And it’s not just me. Special moments like this have been made possible for countless other families across the country thanks to legacies left to Cancer Research UK.”
Nick Georgiadis, head of legacy fundraising at Cancer Research UK, said: “One in three people in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lives. But thanks to gifts which have been left to us in Wills over the years, we’ve made great strides towards beating cancer and we’re now seeing more and more people survive the disease than ever before.
“But not everybody is so lucky and too many lives are still being devastated by cancer. There is a lot more potentially life-saving research that could be done to beat cancer but we simply can’t afford to fund everything. By leaving a gift to Cancer Research UK in your Will, you will help make more research possible and help to revolutionise cancer treatment for thousands of people in the future.”
Georgiadis adds: “When writing your Will of course your friends and family will come first, but once they have been looked after please consider Cancer Research UK. Leaving a residuary gift (or share of your estate) to your favourite charity is the easiest way to make sure your loved ones and the causes you care about are all provided for.”
To watch Flora’s story online or to find out more about how you can help beat cancer by leaving a gift in your Will to Cancer Research UK visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/legacies. You can also call our Legacy Information Officer on 020 7121 6697.
* Legacies through a Lens is open to the public free of charge 15th – 19th September from 11am – 6pm
** Legacy Foresight, 2008/09