Cancer CAN be beaten

Yesterday the UK said good bye to another British national treasure, Victoria Wood.

The cause: cancer.

A BBC Radio 4 survey last weekend announced that between January and March this year an astounding 24 celebrities passed away, a figure significantly higher than 2014 and 2015 combined.

…Alan Rickman – taken by pancreatic cancer…

…Sir Terry Wogan – cancer again… The list goes on and on.

Beyond the heightened awareness that a celebrity passing brings, most of us have been touched by the disease in some way. Now more than ever PR and social have a pivotal role to play in driving awareness, starting conversations, raising conversations and driving behaviour change. The recent #missingtype campaign is an incredible example of what can be achieved.

But before the days of social media channels, this little South African turned to TV as the main source of information and inspiration. One advert from my birth country that will always stay with me is the Cancer Association’s ad, Cancer can be beaten. [View the ad here]. Perhaps it was showed here as well?! All I know is that it is one of only a handful of ads from my childhood that I can vividly recall.

Picture this: a gladiator-style vision of a man (I was young and impressionable, forgive me) enters the screen carrying what looks to be the heaviest sledgehammer known to the human race. Dramatic music follows his slow walk to a covered block. The covering is removed and reveals the word, CANCER. He lifts the hammer and starts working, eventually leaving only the ‘CAN’… The tagline: Cancer CAN be beaten. I was moved. I believed it with all my heart.

… until I arrived in the UK. Over the past 10 years we have lost so many incredible people to this heinous disease. At cirkle we said good bye last year to an inspirational colleague who was taken by this cruel disease in what should’ve been the prime of her life.

It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right.

Where am I going with this?

In exactly 10 days my own incredible gladiator cirkle team will take on the Tough Mudder challenge in an effort to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer research. They will bravely combat freezing water, minor electrocution, disgusting mud and virtually insurmountable obstacles in their own battle against this plague on modern society. They, and all others who participate in runs, walks and other similarly torturous events, inspire me. They make me believe that one day (hopefully in the not too distant future) our combined efforts to raise awareness and money for more research will bring an end to cancer.
Cirkle team, I salute you.

Annemarie Penderis
Director, Trade

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