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Radio Merseyside Thought for the Day 2004

Last week I was privileged to welcome about 100 lung cancer patients and their families to the Roy Castle Centre for a National Conference. Some had had their tumours removed several years ago and were cured. Others were more recently diagnosed and some of these were inoperable with only a short time to live. All of them, however, without exception were positive in their outlook and it was very moving to see and hear how much they wanted to help and make a difference for other lung cancer sufferers and to do what they could to support the research which one day will put this disease where it belongs - in the history books. In all my years dealing with cancer patients, I have never ceased to be profoundly impressed by their courage and bravery in the most difficult of circumstances. Kate, from Sunderland, came to the conference. It's only a short time since half her lung was removed for cancer and she was still so filled up with emotion that she found it difficult to speak but she did so and, with tears in her eyes, pleaded with the other delegates to get involved with the media and with health committees to ensure that the voice of those affected by cancer is properly heard and taken into consideration when planning the way in which cancer is managed in our hospitals and community. As a surgeon, I felt very humble listening to Kate as I have so very often felt humble over the years in treating and dealing with my patients. Their voice is very powerful and it is being heard and it is making a real difference nowadays in the Health Service. In another context their voice will be ringing out at the Pause for Hope service on Sunday afternoon at the Anglican Cathedral - and I'm sure that God will be listening


Professor Ray Donnelly

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