A touching charity video appeal from Pancreatic Cancer UK paired voices of 5 celebrities who have died from the disease to raise awareness.
Pancreatic cancer is a disease that occurs in the pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. The pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and produce hormones that help manage your blood sugar.
According to the video piece, which comes as part of Pancreatic Awareness month, there is little or no information about the disease despite the number of high-profile deaths it has caused. This obscurity means that many people will keep being diagnosed with it in the disease’s late stages.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include back pain, indigestion, and weight loss, which are vague, and no simple test is enough to diagnose it.
The charity video titled Lost Voices: Help us break through the silence is aimed at raising donations to fund research breakthroughs. Meanwhile, Jon Holmes of BBC’s The Now Show and Listen Against served as the producer.
For too long there has been silence around #PancreaticCancer, with too little funding and attention.
— Pancreatic Cancer UK (@PancreaticCanUK) November 23, 2021
Speaking about the video, Rima Horton, trustee for Pancreatic Cancer UK, said, “It’s hard to put into words just how truly horrific pancreatic cancer is and I think that’s a significant part of why it’s been neglected – why in 40 years we’ve seen barely any improvement in someone’s chances of survival.
“The sheer creativity at the heart of Lost Voices would have excited Alan, and I’m so pleased that he is part of it. The message he and the other wonderfully talented individuals we’ve lost to pancreatic cancer have for the public is urgent. Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest common cancer, but finding a cure isn’t a lost cause. With more research, I know that a breakthrough will be made that will help save thousands of lives.“
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See 5 celebrities whose voices they used in the charity video.
1. Alan Rickman
Late Alan Rickman’s voice was featured as one of the voices in the new charity campaign video for pancreatic cancer awareness.
The later actor, famed for his work in the Harry Potter movie series, had pancreatic cancer until he passed in 2016 at 69. The diagnosis was only announced after his death as he preferred to keep his ill health secret from the public.
2. Sir John Hurt
BAFTA-winning actor Sir John Hurt died at 77 from pancreatic cancer in 2017. He was best known for his roles in The Elephant Man and Alien. He is also famous for playing Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant and wand merchant Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films.
3. Patrick Swayze
American actor Patrick Swayze died from pancreatic cancer about 20 months after his diagnosis. He died with family at his side, in September 2009, at 57. At diagnosis, they discovered that Swayze’s disease was already at stage IV, but he continued working despite it. When he was not receiving chemotherapy treatments, he was on set for The Beast.
4. Steve Jobs
The late co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc. (now Apple Inc.), died of pancreatic cancer at 59 on 5 October 2011. He was first diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in 2003 but refused surgery for about nine months, using alternative medicine approaches until 2004 when he underwent surgery.
Jobs opted for a major reconstructive surgery, known as the Whipple operation, to take out a portion of the bile duct, the gallbladder, and the duodenum. However, in 2008, there were speculations that the cancer was back because he appeared to have lost a lot of weight. After several speculations, in January 2009, Jobs released a statement stating that he was suffering from a hormonal imbalance and was being treated. A few days after that, he took a 6-month leave of absence and refused to disclose more information about his health. After six months, he returned to work. In January 2011, he took another medical leave of absence and resigned in August 2011 as CEO while he became Apple Inc. chairman. Two months later, in October 2011, he passed away.
5. Aretha Franklin
Legendary gospel and soul singer Aretha Franklin died from pancreatic cancer after an eight-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The Queen of Soul, as she is fondly remembered, passed away in Detroit while her loved ones surrounded her.
In November 2017, Franklin performed for Elton John’s Aids Foundation concert. She performed “I Knew You Were Waiting,” her duet with George Michael, as well as “I Say A Little Prayer.” After her performance, the news of her ailments leaked. She died in 2018.
As it is clear from this article, it is not a disease that affect one gender. Additionally, the difficulty in detecting it and its rarity gives it enough time to cause damage before it is discovered.
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