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Trevor Baker of The Spillway calls for more funding into pancreatic cancer after death of wife Cathy

By Claire McWethy

Trevor Baker’s two children had no one to give flowers to on Mother’s Day.

His wife Cathy passed away just five months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011, aged just 45.

The St Michael’s Infant School teaching assistant was originally thought to be suffering with a bad back and several visits to her doctor failed to reveal the seriousness of her condition.

Cathy Baker, who died of pancreatic cancer
Cathy Baker, who died of pancreatic cancer

Now Trevor, 52, along with other families who have been victim to the rare disease, is calling for the Department of Health to increase funding to improve detection and survival rates.

He has even posted this selfie on Facebook to highlight the campaign.

The petition has so far been signed by 70,000 people, but 100,000 signatures are required by Tuesday, April 8, to be considered for debate in Parliament.

Mr Baker, from The Spillway, Tovil, said: “When it was mentioned that something might be wrong with Cathy’s pancreas I went online to research it, but didn’t like what I saw so I stopped.

Trevor Baker
Trevor Baker

“I wanted to stay positive. We believed the chemotherapy would help and reduce the size of the cancer so they could operate.

“It was a real shock in January when we were told there was no hope. She died 11 days later.”

Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the UK – with 23 people diagnosed every day and it has the worst survival rate of any cancer, yet receives only 1% of research funds.

Many of the symptoms, including stomach pain and jaundice, mirror less serious conditions.

Mr Baker said: “I will do anything to get more people to sign this petition and to try to do something to improve survivability. This is the 21st century after all.”

The campaigners are asking for people to upload pictures of themselves to a Facebook page, holding signs encouraging people to sign the online petition.

It has been inspired by the hugely successful make-up free “selfies” posted online, which raised £2m for Cancer Research UK.

To sign the petition visit tinyurl.com/KMpetition

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