Malmesbury Abbey lights up to mark World Pancreatic Cancer Day

By Anita Jaynes on 18 November, 2015

One of Wiltshire’s most famous landmarks, Malmesbury Abbey, was illuminated in purple light last Friday as part of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights for Hope campaign.

“Purple Lights for Hope presents an opportunity to celebrate the lives of loved ones dealing with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and to remember those who have sadly died of the disease, whilst also spreading a message of hope,” said Corston resident Teresa Coupland. “My mother sadly died of pancreatic cancer recently and my family and friends are raising awareness for Pancreatic Cancer UK outside the abbey this evening.”

“By lighting up Malmesbury Abbey in purple we helped to put a spotlight on pancreatic cancer and to highlight a disease that many people still know so very little about but which is predicted to be a bigger killer than breast cancer. We would like to thank the abbey for agreeing to light up the building.”

Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights for Hope campaign has captured the imagination of the public and health professionals and campaigners since its launch last year when 60 landmarks and buildings lit up in the UK, including the Trafalgar Square fountains in London. This year Edinburgh Castle, the Welsh National Assembly, Belfast Castle and London’s South Bank Festival Hall went purple along with many other iconic UK buildings to mark Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Only around four per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive five years or more. This figure has hardly changed in 40 years. It is the fifth most common cause of all cancer deaths in the UK and it is predicted that by 2030 pancreatic cancer will overtake breast cancer as the fourth most common cancer killer.

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK said: “Purple Lights for Hope presents a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer. One person is diagnosed with the disease in the UK every hour, and the disease has the lowest survival rate of all the 21 common cancers, so it really is crucial that we all find out more about it.

“On behalf of everyone at Pancreatic Cancer UK I would like to say a huge thank you to Teresa and Hannah Coupland for helping us to spread the word about pancreatic cancer, as well as a vital message of hope to everyone affected by the disease.”

For further information about the disease or Pancreatic Cancer UK, please contact Emma Fielder, Media Manager on 020 3780 7762 or email