Nov 13, 2009

'Amser Justin Time' countdown to Change the Numbers Awareness Week for Pancreatic Cancer



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Pancreatic cancer charities across the UK will be launching their first Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week, taking place from the 16th to 22nd November 2009, with one common campaign to ‘Change the Numbers’. Backing the campaign will be Wales’ one and only pancreatic cancer charity Amser Justin Time, founded by Welsh opera star and TV personality Shan Cothi in memory of her husband, Tigertailz’ glam-rock star, Justin Smith (aka Pepsi Tate).





One of Amser Justin Time’s dedicated supporters, and a close friend of Shan Cothi, is actor Steffan Rhodri, aka Dave Coaches from hit TV series Gavin & Stacey. Having recently landed the role of Reg Cattermole in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Steffan Rhodri remains committed to the charity “I’m very grateful for such opportunities as Con Passionate, Gavin and Stacey and now Harry Potter, but my passion is my work with amserjustintime.org. Sadly I’m only too familiar with the tragic affect that this killer disease has had on my close friends and my family, and I urge everyone to support our campaign in order to help others just in time.”



The Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week and its ‘Change the Numbers’ campaign have been designed to increase knowledge and understanding about pancreatic cancer, a ruthless and silent killer (its symptoms are often hard to detect). Despite being the 5th largest cause of cancer deaths in the UK few have heard about it. This silent nature has meant that research into diagnosis, treatment and service provision and patient support has gone under-funded for many years.


Only around 1% of cancer funding goes towards pancreatic cancer. As a result, there has been very little improvement in the overall survival rate for the last 40 years with 5 year survival just a dismal 3%.


UK pancreatic cancer charities believe that the time has come for these numbers to change. They are now urging people to spread the word about the importance of further research into pancreatic cancer as part of the November awareness week.


During Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week, supporters will be doing their bit regionally by holding events to both raise money and increase awareness. It is hoped that this will help to promote the vital messages surrounding pancreatic cancer and give a bigger voice to the campaign against this silent killer.


In conjunction with the awareness week, The Silent Cancer, a feature documentary investigating pancreatic cancer in the UK, will be shown on the Community Channel: Sky 539, Virgin TV 233, Freeview 87 on the 16th, 18th, 20th and 22nd November at 21:00 and 3.00am. The Silent Cancer is Directed by Alastair Clayton, Written and Produced by Stuart Laws. A trailer of the documentary is available to watch at www.pancreaticcancerawareness.org



Amser Justin Time continue to work tirelessly to raise awareness of this cruel disease. Alongside the charity’s founder and close friend Shan Cothi, Steffan Rhodri took part in Amser Justin Time’s first fundraising challenge - an epic horse-ride from North to South Wales in August and September 2008. Since then the charity has gone from strength to strength raising over £60,000 in its first year of operation. In July this year, the charity made the ground-breaking announcement in a special launch with Only Men Aloud at the University Hospital of Wales, that they had raised sufficient funds to employ a Specialist Pancreatic Nurse for one day a week for two years.



This month has already seen charity supporter, presenter and actress, Sara Hunter raise money for Amser Justin Time by completing the New York marathon on 1st November. Sara completed the race in 4 hours 4 minutes and raised over £1700 and said: “It was an unforgettable experience and thinking of Justin and Shan kept me going the whole way. I’m going to continue to run half marathons in the New Year with the aim of reaching my target of £3000 for amserjustintime.org”. Other supporters continue to fundraise through various sponsored walks and horse rides.




Amser Justin Time have also held various other fundraising events including two acclaimed ‘Cyngerdd Cothi’ concerts at Pontrhydfendigaid including performances from Shan Cothi, Only Men Aloud, Caryl Parry Jones and John Owen Jones. Given Shân’s status as a singer, actress and TV personality the charity’s fundraising events have had the support of some of Wales’ biggest celebrities including Bryn Terfel, who joined Shân to record the downloadable track ‘I Believe’.




For more information on the charity, please visit www.amserjustintime.org




For donations, please visit www.justgiving.com/amser








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