Published: 00:00, 27 April 2014
| Updated: 09:22, 27 April 2014
A widower has succeeded in his bittersweet battle to get MPs to consider increasing funding for research for the rare cancer which claimed his wife’s life.
Cathy Baker passed away five months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011, aged just 45.
Earlier this month husband Trevor, 52, launched a last-ditch appeal for readers to help him reach 100,000 signatures on a petition, requesting for the Department of Health to focus on improving detection and survival rates.
Despite being 30,000 names shy of the target with just five days left before the deadline when the Kent Messenger went to press, it reached the target less than two days later.
The final number of signatories stood at 106,000.
The issue will now be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee in Parliament, which could result in a significantly increased research budget.
Mr Baker, from The Spillway, Tovil, said: “Naturally I was very happy when we reached the target. The petition was trending at over 1,500 signatures an hour at one stage and it was due to newspapers like the KM.
“I was happy but found it very emotional due to the fact that at last something is happening to make a difference but alas too late for Cathy.”
Cathy, a 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.
Despite being the fifth biggest killing cancer, pancreatic cancer receives the smallest amount of government funding.
Mr Baker added: “The next step is to ensure the debate takes place in Parliament.”
The petition was also publicised by celebrities, such as Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played cancer victim Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street.
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