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Radio Merseyside Thought for the Day 2008

This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Pause for Hope, an initiative which has been supported by most of the major cancer charities in Merseyside. Our focus has been on those who have or have had cancer, their carers, the health professionals who look after them, the authorities with responsibility for finding and distributing resources, as well as the scientists trying to find the cure. For years I treated hundreds of patients with cancer and saw the changes in their eyes when, no matter how gently I put it, I told them that they had cancer but it was only when I was myself diagnosed with cancer that I had real insight into the mental and emotional traumas that the diagnosis can bring. Fortunately my disease was effectively treated but it was a frightening experience. We all need hope when faced with cancer and this comes in various forms, from the hope of cure if the condition is diagnosed early enough, (and there are more and more of these nowadays), to the final stages when it is clear the battle is going to be lost and it is then that the hope of eternal life can give strength, encouragement and acceptance. Hope brings an uplifting of the spirit and this is what the Pause for Hope service sets out to achieve, successfully I believe - we will never forget how Bishop David Sheppard, with only a few months to live, came to speak at our service. He entered the cathedral in a wheelchair, looking cold and frail but at the end of the service, after he had spoken, he strode down the aisle holding the arm of his wife, Grace, re-energised and smiling broadly - a striking example of what the Pause for Hope service can do for people like you and me. Do join us, if you can, this coming Sunday afternoon at the Anglican cathedral and if, for any reason, you can't be there, please join us in spirit and pray with hope in God that the day will quickly come when all cancers can be prevented or cured. Ray Donnelly


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c/o Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Cotton Exchange, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9LQ

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