Leicester cancer patients appear in new Cancer Research UK TV advert

Posted by er134 at Dec 20, 2016 12:37 PM |
Lymphoma patients Jude and Mandie support charity campaign which calls on people to take action in the fight against cancer

Issued by CRUK on 20 December 2016

THE TOUCHING friendship of two Leicestershire mums going through cancer treatment together is the focus of an emotional TV advert from Cancer Research UK this Christmas.

Mandie Stace and Jude Price, who have both been treated for lymphoma at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, appear in a new series of films for the charity’s ‘Right Now’ campaign, which launch on Boxing Day (26 December) and will be on air during Christmas and New Year.

Viewers will see 36-year-old Mandie sitting on friend Jude’s hospital bed as the two share a laugh about their hair falling out during chemotherapy treatment.

Jude jokes that she ‘needs a comb-over’ to cover a bald patch and Mandie replies, ‘There’s not enough for a comb-over, dear - sorry’.  The friends then collapse in giggles. The moment is both humorous and poignant.

Cancer Research UK’s powerful and emotive ‘Right Now’ campaign features TV, poster and radio adverts and aims to show the reality of cancer for patients like Jude and Mandie, their friends and family.

It features a series of moving films - showing real patients in real-life moments - which call on supporters to take action in the fight against cancer.

The campaign was filmed at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield Hospital. It captures documentary-style footage of doctors, nurses, scientists, researchers, cancer patients and their loved ones to highlight the everyday reality of treatment.

Filming also took place at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mandie and Jude’s film will be on air until 22 January 2017 and they also appear in a series of posters to be displayed on roadside billboards in Leicestershire and in hundreds of locations across the UK from 2-15 January 2017.

Cancer Research UK hopes the ‘Right Now’ campaign will inspire people across the East Midlands to get involved in whatever way they can, to help fund the charity’s life-saving work.

Mandie, from Melton Mowbray, and Jude, from Loughborough, know from personal experience just how crucial new discoveries and breakthroughs are to help people like them survive.

The pair have both been treated for different types of lymphoma. Mandie has finished treatment and is now in remission. Jude has been told she is in remission at the moment, but needs further treatment to keep the cancer at bay.

Jude (48), a former primary school teacher and mum of two, was diagnosed in March with a rare form of lymphoma that eluded doctors for nearly three years.

“I had every test under the sun, and every single test showed there was something wrong but it wasn’t showing them cancer,” said Jude. “It was as if the cancer was playing hide and seek. I thought I was dying and they would never find out what was wrong with me in time to stop it.”

When Jude was eventually diagnosed she was so ill and frail there were days when she could hardly breathe or walk. At the time, her family were also reeling from the news that Jude’s mum had cancer.

Jude had an intense course of chemotherapy and underwent a stem cell transplant in September. She’s since been told she’s in remission but will need another transplant in the New Year to try and stop the cancer returning.

Mandie, who has two children and two step-children, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in May 2016 after noticing swelling to her arm and neck.

Doctors at first suspected deep vein thrombosis, but further investigations revealed the devastating fact that it was cancer – and it had spread to her chest, neck and lung.

Mandie, who works alongside husband Greg in the family business Stace Roofing, said: “I’d been having pain in my shoulder since Christmas, but just thought it was a trapped nerve. The news that it was cancer was a real shock as I’d been such a fit person.

After three cycles of the standard chemotherapy for her type of cancer, a scan showed Mandie was not responding to treatment. She was put on a more aggressive chemotherapy drug.

She said: “The first lot of chemo was a breeze, but the aggressive stuff was a lot worse. I felt extremely tired and irritable, and all my hair fell out. Hair loss is such a visible, outward sign of your illness that it seems to make it more real. I couldn’t hide it from the kids. Their first reaction when we told them I had cancer was that I was going to die. We reassured them that wasn’t going to happen, so it was really important to me to try and be normal for them.”

Mandie’s compromised immune system meant she picked up infections easily, and it was when she was in hospital for a chest infection that she first met Jude, who was having a stem cell transplant and was in the bed next door.

“Jude started having a really bad reaction to her treatment. She was suffering so much I stayed up all night talking to her. We just clicked. It was as if we had known each other for years. We laughed together and talked about our families and about our illness and treatment. We do a lot of laughing!” said Mandie.

During Jude’s lengthy treatment Mandie made a point of visiting her every time she came for an appointment or scan. It was on just such an occasion that the Cancer Research UK advert was filmed.

Jude commented: “It was all very bizarre.I was recovering from my stem cell transplant on the ward when a film crew came in and asked if they could film me chatting to a friend. I’d only known Mandie a week or two but she was visiting me the following morning so it was perfect.

“In the middle of something so dark and bleak, to be able to do the film and have a laugh and a giggle was the absolute highlight of my time in the Bone Marrow Unit. Every single day small steps are made by researchers in the fight against cancer. Those small steps will create big changes.

Mandie added: “We’re both really proud to be part of Cancer Research UK’s Right Now campaign. The advert captures a little moment from our cancer experience. We hope it will move people and make them smile, as well as inspiring them to take action to help fund vital research.”

Ann Hunter, Consultant Haematologist at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “We are really pleased that our patients at Leicester’s Hospitals have been given the opportunity to share their experiences of undergoing treatment with other patients with similar conditions during the making of the television adverts.

“The whole opportunity has been truly valuable and we hope the adverts are helpful and comforting to other sufferers.”

Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Leicestershire, said: “We’re so grateful to Mandie and Jude for sharing their story.

“We’d also like to thank staff at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Our campaign aims to shine a light on the men, women and children facing cancer every day as well as the doctors, specialists, nurses and support staff who provide invaluable treatment, care and support.

“Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists are working hard to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. We hope these films will inspire people to take action, right now, and play their part in helping to beat cancer sooner.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Survival has doubled in the last 40 years in the UK. But to help accelerate this progress, Cancer Research UK needs everyone to act right now.

Jane added:  “There are so many ways to get involved. From signing up to Race for Life, donating items to one of our shops or giving time to volunteer. We’re calling on people in Leicestershire to show their support and help even more people survive.”

For more information on how to help beat cancer sooner, visit www.cruk.org


For press enquiries please contact Jane Redman or Paula Young or email centralpress@cancer.org.uk

Box Out linking to advances in research:

Every day, around 69 people are diagnosed with cancer in the East Midlands.*

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend around £2 million last year in Leicestershire on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research - helping more men, women and children survive cancer.

There are lots of different ways people in Leicestershire can take action right now:

  • Enter a Race for Life event taking place in Leicester or Loughborough in 2017.
  • Support World Cancer Day on 4 February 2017.
  • Sign up for a sporting challenge such as a 10k run, marathon or triathlon.
  • Volunteer at a local Cancer Research UK shop
  • Share your cancer story on social media using the hashtag #CancerRightNow. Visit www.cruk.org for more details.


Notes to Editors

About the campaign

Cancer Research UK’s Right Now campaign features a series of powerful and emotive TV adverts as well as radio, billboard and digital ads across the UK.

The awareness and fundraising campaign features real people telling real stories, with photography and documentary-style film footage captured at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The campaign highlights how Cancer Research UK is working to beat cancer right now and invites the UK public to take action in the fight against the disease.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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