St Albans fundraiser invited to Westminster for taskforce launch

Left to right: Chair of Trustees at Pancreatic Cancer UK, Lynne Walker, Anna-Ruby Yates, and Charlot

Left to right: Chair of Trustees at Pancreatic Cancer UK, Lynne Walker, Anna-Ruby Yates, and Charlotte Zamboni. - Credit: Archant

A prolific St Albans fundraiser was invited to Westminster for the launch of the less-survivable cancers taskforce.

Harry-Krish commemorative event at St Columba's College

Harry-Krish commemorative event at St Columba's College - Credit: Archant

Anna-Ruby Yates lost her brother, Harry-Krish Mootoosamy, to pancreatic cancer in 2014 - when he was just 39.

Since then, she has raised thousands towards Pancreatic Cancer UK and has set up a fundraising organisation in his name, The Harry-Krish Mootoosamy Foundation, which is currently under consideration for charitable status.

It will provide music entertainment and therapy for children with terminal illnesses.

In recognition for all her good work Anna-Ruby was a guest at the launch of the taskforce - which aims to deliver changes in diagnosis, treatment and research for more fatal, but common, cancers.

Charities Pancreatic Cancer UK, The Brain Tumour Charity, the British Liver Trust, Action against Heartburn, and Core are partners in this endeavour.

Someone diagnosed with pancreatic, liver, brain, lung, oesophageal and stomach cancer has only a 14 per cent survival rate beyond five years after diagnosis.

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She said her brother’s life was taken “cruelly and quickly”: “Whilst the statistics are shocking this is not about numbers, it is about real lives, and real losses.

“The effect of being told you have cancer and the effect of loss can destroy a family, we are still struggling to forge a life without my brother.

“We are very lucky that he left three young, amazing children, who are happy and carefree due to a very strong mum and a wealth of his fabulous friends who have supported us and continue to do so with their relentless passion and energy.”

MP and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on cancer, John Baron, sponsored the evening: “Whilst over the last 40 years the five-year survival rate has almost doubled for breast cancer and prostate cancer, these six less survivable cancers are more or less as deadly as they were in the 1970s.”

The new Parliamentary Secretary of State for Public Health, Steve Brine, also spoke at the launch. Policy makers, all healthcare professionals, patients, and families are being encouraged to help the taskforce. Click here for more information.