A Louth woman is hoping that the poignant storyline of Hayley Cropper on Coronation Street will aid her push for action on pancreatic cancer.
Jane Corden, whose husband Michael died from the condition in December last year aged just 51, is part of a drive to secure 100,000 signatures for the petition in the hope that it will be debated in Parliament.
The aim is to push for ways to detect pancreatic cancer earlier, meaning that more people can survive after diagnosis. So far, over 16,000 people have signed up.
Coronation Street’s Hayley Cropper, played by Julie Hesmondhalgh, has been given just months to live on the soap as part of an emotional storyline, and the long-serving actress is backing the campaign as a legacy for her character.
Jane and her friends set up the Michael Corden Charitable Fund after her husband’s death to raise money and awareness. They hope it will soon secure charitable status.
Jane said pancreatic cancer was the fifth biggest cancer killer in the UK, but received just one per cent of overall cancer funding.
“It is very underfunded and the survival rate has not increased in 40 years,” she said.
“We set up the charitable fund to try and get people to become more aware of pancreatic cancer and its symptoms.
“The aim of the online petition is to get a debate in Parliament to discuss the possibility of an early detection system.
“So far there are over 16,000 signatures but there is still an awful long way to go.”
The organisation has held a number of fundraising events since it launched in June.
It was launched with a successful ‘Panto Party’ in June at the Humber Royal in Grimsby, and has since held two cricket matches in Michael’s honour.
The organisation held a successful ‘pie and pea’ night at the Plough Inn at Covenham on Saturday November 23, which was enjoyed by all those who attended.
On Saturday, May 10, 2014, there will be a “Night at the Musicals” at Grimsby’s Humber Royal Hotel. Tickets can be reserved via the organisation’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/michaelcordenfund.
For anyone who wants to know more, representatives from the Michael Corden Charitable Fund can be found at the Christmas market in Louth on Sunday December 1, in the HSBC bank.
To view and sign the petition online visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48389.