Dukinfield Town Hall is set to be lit up purple next week, in memory of a local woman who passed away after a short battle with cancer.
It will take place on Thursday, November 21, when it will be World Pancreatic Cancer Day.
June Stone (pictured), who was 70 and had lived in both Audenshaw and Ashton, was fit and well before being diagnosed with the disease two weeks before her death in June.
Her family are trying to raise awareness of the disease and would like to encourage people to get potential symptoms checked by a doctor as soon as possible. They are supporting the Tameside Council-backed Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month this November.
Helen Stone, June’s daughter, said: “We wanted to do this as a tribute to Mum so we could encourage people to recognise the symptoms and not go through what we did.”
Helen and her sister, Angela, have also placed purple lights around their houses to raise awareness throughout the whole of November. Along with Dukinfield Town Hall, these have all been placed on Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights of Hope map.
During the awareness month, Pancreatic Cancer UK will be manning a stall in the Tameside Wellbeing Corner in Ashton indoor market, on Thursday 14 November between 10am and 3pm.
This is the 11th most common cancer in England and around 8,500 people are diagnosed every year in the UK.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include pain or discomfort which begins in the abdomen and spreads to the back, feeling sick, jaundice and weight loss. However, it may not cause these symptoms for a very long time.
Helen said: “Early in May, Mum complained of tiredness and abdominal pain and had lost weight but had been dieting.
“When she passed away my family lost someone very special. My dad lost his wife of 46 years and my sister, our brother Chris and I lost our precious Mum who was the centre of our lives and always put our needs before her own. She was the best wife, mum and grandma we could ever have wished for.”
Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council executive member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, said: “If you want to talk about potential symptoms please contact your GP as soon as possible. Pancreatic cancer can come on suddenly but there’s excellent support available in the borough for those diagnosed with the disease and their families.”
NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) co-chairman and lead for cancer, Dr Ashwin Ramachandra, said: “The CCG recognises and supports the Stone family in championing this campaign. Pancreatic cancer is a very challenging condition but help is available and if anyone has a concern then please see your GP as soon as possible.”
While doctors can’t confirm what causes pancreatic cancer, there are certain things which increase the risk of developing it. These include being in middle or older age, smoking, regularly drinking a lot of alcohol, being overweight and physically inactive, having had a different cancer before, and having a family history of the disease.
Additional advice and support is available through Pancreatic Cancer UK by calling 0808 801 0707 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stone family (from left to right): Emily, Angela, James, Leo, Helen and Jessica.