A BROMSGROVE woman who lost her husband to pancreatic cancer will trek along the Great Wall of China in his memory to raise awareness and funds for the charity fighting the disease.
Tomorrow (Saturday) marks the first anniversary of Chris Winters’ death and his wife Lyn is busy training ahead of her mammoth challenge in October in aid of Pancreatic Cancer Action.
She has opted to take on the trek because of the shocking statistics surrounding the disease. Pancreatic cancer is the fifth biggest killer and has a survival rate of just four per cent – the same figure it has been for the last 50 years. A total of 26 people die everyday from pancreatic cancer yet it receives just one per cent of research funding.
Chris’ battle began in November 2013 when he was diagnosed with borderline operable pancreatic cancer.
Lyn said: “We were absolutely devastated – our lives changed forever that day.”
From that moment he was determined to fight and endured various procedures and brutal chemotherapy in the hope the tumour would shrink sufficiently to make surgery an option.
But the pair’s hopes were shattered on June 2, 2014, when surgery failed – the surgical team concluded it was too dangerous to continue.
Whilst recovering from surgery and knowing his only chance of buying time would be palliative chemotherapy, the couple’s close friends helped research drug trials and any possible options.
“A drugs regime began and we saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Then the fight began, the recommended drug wasn’t funded by the NHS for various reasons so Chris set up his own fund-raising website and began the battle for the drugs he needed.
“Chris was very positive and encouraged everyone around him to ‘think shrink’ and for a while the tumour did shrink a little.”
Chris lost his fight on August 13, 2015 – he was just 57.
“I want to thank all those who supported Chris through his illness – he fought so hard to stay alive and I have taken the challenge to the Great Wall of China in honour of Chris’s true grit.
“I have funded the trip myself so all the money I can raise will go to Pancreatic Cancer Action.”
Lyn said no one should go through what they went through and anything she could do to help people in the future would be worth every footstep.
Lyn is hoping to raise £1,000 for the cause and is almost at £500.
Go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Linda-Winters1 to donate and help her get closer to her target.
Lyn also wants people to be aware of the symptoms which include low mood or depression indigestion problems which do not respond to medication, pale and smelly stools that do not flush easily, jaundice, mid back pain, upper abdominal pain, pain on eating, fatigue and unexplained weight loss.
Visit www.pancreaticcanceraction.org for more information on the charity,