Saturday, 5 July 2014

CRUK Campaigns Ambassador Showcase - Sue Duncombe

I think everyone knows how much I value being part of the CRUK Team Ambo. The people I've got to meet through it are incredible. Many of them are my friends now and I'm hugely proud to work alongside them to do something we are all so passionate about. They inspire me and I'm frequently left in awe by each and every one of them.

Sue is a really lovely, generous and talented lady. She pushes herself and completed brilliant challenges for CRUK. She's a very deserving winner of a 2014 Flame of Hope Special Commendation and I was really honoured to be named alongside her and the others, especially as I could never cycle from London to Paris like Sue did!

Sue is about to embark on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge for CRUK. She's kindly allowed me to share her story on my blog today and I'm really honoured. Have a read about this amazing lady and please sponsor her if you can at

What made you decide to volunteer for CRUK?
My family has been significantly impacted by cancer. Mum died of cancer in 2003, dad survived both prostate and stomach cancer and my husband, Philip, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in  Jan 2005, age 52 and died in December 2009. Initial surgery in May 2005 appeared successful. However, 12 months later he was discovered to have metastases in lymph nodes. By December 2008 all licensed treatment options had been exhausted and we were desperate for him to be entered into a study of a promising new agent ,abiraterone. This drug changed our lives for 7 months. He went from being very ill at Christmas 2008 to booking flights to Cape Town in February 2009 to join some friends on a golfing holiday.  This drug was initially developed by CRUK. I feel absolutely passionate about the quality time this drug gave us and recognise the importance of patients getting access to effective treatments to  provide them and their families such quality of life. Philip was always incredibly positive during his fight against cancer and has been described as inspirational by many of our friends and contacts. I was inspired and want to make my contribution to help other cancer patients and their families.

What sort of things do you do?
I have my role as Cancer Campaigns Ambassador, which involves political lobbying. I'm really proud to be part of this Team of such motivated individuals. We can make a difference by influencing Government. In addition I participate in sponsored activities each year to raise funds. I've done Shine in Manchester and London as well as Race for Life. I get a lot of satisfaction from doing my own physical challenge each year, last year my friends and I cycled from London to Paris. It was hard work,but great fun! This year we're doing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks in 12 hours

What are your favourite aspects of volunteering for the charity?
The camaraderie of the Ambassador group is fantastic. In any of the CRUK events I've participated in there's such a great positive spirit. Everyone has the same ultimate goal - to beat cancer sooner.

Do you have any future plans for your work with CRUK?
I want to get more involved with other CRUK volunteers in my area. My Ambassador colleague, Gemma Swiers and I are involved with a CRUK pilot project in Oxford which is all about creating synergies across the various CRUK groups in the area. We're planning to raise the profile of the Ambassador group at some of the events in the area

What advice do you have for anyone considering volunteering for CRUK? 
What are you waiting for?! Like most things in life, if you put in the effort, you'll get personal satisfaction from contributing. In addition you'll meet some fun people!

Sue, congratulations on your special
commendation, it's so well deserved! It is a privilege to work alongside you and call you my friend xx

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