Thursday 4th Febraury is, so I recently discovered (or maybe rediscovered, my memory is rubbish) World Cancer Day. This year in the UK four of the major cancer charities have chosen to work together, each selling ther own 'unity bands' to raise funds for their work, but with the common theme of 'unity'. With the hashtag #adaytounite individuals and families are invited to post photos wearing their band/bands as a sign of this unity.
The four charities each offer something unique...
CRUK is primarily a research charity, covering all kinds of cancer and funding work right across the UK.
The Anthony Nolan Trust is concerned solely with blood cancers, and central to its work are the bone marrow donor registers, as well as research and support.
The Movember Foundation, famous for it's November moustache fundraiser, focuses on mens health in general with key areas including male cancers - prostate and testicular - a mixture of research, education and support.
Breast Cancer Care as it's name suggests is a support charity concerned with cancers affecting the breast in women and men, with education and awareness raising as well as all sorts of practical support. Unlike the others listed above, it is not a research charity, though increasingly it is involved in campaigning in the area of secondary breast cancer.
I opted to purchase two bands - CRUK and Breast Cancer Care as these are the two that resonate with my experience, and for which I have raised, and do raise, money.
What I like about this awareness and fundraising campaign is that these charities are not competing, they are standing alongside each other, recognising the unique contribution each makes in a huge field. Sometimes charities do compete, sometimes one will deliberately start up services another already offers... not so unlike churches really! What is good is when, as here, they can work alongside each other. There is lots of small scale charitable ecumenism for sure - here in Glasgow I know of joint projects between these and other charities. This all seems good.
On Tuesday I will have my annual check-up and "squish" - which will be five years since my surgery and, all things being equal, five years NED. Supporting the charities whose work directly or indirectly has helped me seems a good way to celebrate that.