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Thank you for sharing your stories

by Kat Arney | Analysis

9 August 2011

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Alim and daughter

Your stories of hope and grief inspire our work.

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Cancer Research UK supporters have added their voice to a campaign we’ve been running on Facebook. It’s called “Share Your Story” and it’s a part of our new TV ad campaign.

If you’ve seen the TV ads, you’ll know they feature real couples (husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters) talking about how cancer has affected their lives.  And for a long time, people have used our Facebook page to do the same.

It’s a natural place to share stories of hope and of grief, so we invited anyone with a cancer experience to share their story.  In turn, we’ve been sharing ours – the work we’re doing, the progress we’ve made and the areas where more needs to be done.

The response was incredible.

Tens of thousands of people became fans of our Facebook page, and many hundreds of them took the time to post on our wall to talk about their diagnosis or treatment.  Others shared stories of the joy they felt when a loved one got better or the pain they experienced when someone close passed away.

Many of us working at Cancer Research UK read the stories and we were deeply moved by them. And over the duration of the campaign we aimed to respond to everyone who shared their story, directing them to support or information on our website as appropriate.

A lot of people had lost loved ones and were struggling with grief.  These stories were often hard to read, so we can’t imagine how hard they were to write.  At the same time, it was fantastic to hear stories of hope from people who had beaten cancer, or were on the way there.

This campaign has had a big effect on us here.  While it fills us with pride to be at the heart of research that has saved lives, we have also seen the pain many families still have to go through – pain that many of us working within the charity know only too well.   We know our research is helping more and more people survive cancer, but we also know we still have a big fight on our hands.

It’s also been wonderful to hear how people’s experiences are drawing them to support our vital research in so many different ways – from incredible feats of sporting endurance to the monthly donations that all add up to a big difference.

Because without our supporters, none of the progress we’ve made in beating cancer would have been possible. We receive no government funding for our research, so without our supporters’ help, we simply can’t continue to make progress in the future.

The stories we’ve heard over the past few weeks will stay with us for a long time, inspiring us to carry on our work to beat cancer.   And, of course, you can still join the page, and share your experiences, although we won’t be able to respond to every single post now the official “Share Your Story” campaign is over.

Finally, on behalf of everyone at Cancer Research UK – the scientists, doctors, nurses, fundraisers and support staff – we’d like to say thank you to everyone who got involved with our campaign and continues to support our work. Because together we will beat cancer.

Aaron Eccles, Social Media manager

  • If you’d like to consider becoming a media volunteer for Cancer Research UK and sharing your story with a wider public, please contact our patient liaison team.
  • If you have questions or concerns about cancer, please contact our information nurses. They run a freephone helpline on 0808 800 4040, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Or you can contact them by email.
  • Our CancerChat forum is always open for people who are going through cancer to share and talk about their experiences
  • If you would like to support our life-saving work in any way that you can, please visit our Support Us site