A Staffordshire woman whose husband died 33 days after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is using a series of podcast stories to raise awareness of the disease throughout November.
This month marks Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and with more than half of people diagnosed at stage four – Lesley Goodburn wants to do all she can to make people more aware.
Seth Goodburn died seven years ago and since then the 56-year-old has raised more than £50,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK in his memory.
Lesley from Kidsgrove has teamed up with podcaster Charlotte Foster to record thirty podcasts, one of which will be broadcast every day throughout the month.
The podcasts explore the themes of community, how people support each other online and physically after a diagnosis, how people cope with the loss of a loved one, sharing memories of those who have sadly died, the support available as well as focusing on the research community.
Lesley said: “Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose as there are often no symptoms in the early stages. People are often diagnosed, like Seth, at an advanced stage, with 52% of people being diagnosed at stage four. One in four people don’t survive more than a month and 80% don’t live beyond a year so the statistics are a very frightening reality.
She said: “When Seth was diagnosed, we knew the outlook wasn’t good. The survival rates of pancreatic cancer have barely changed in 50 years. In the UK 24 people die from pancreatic cancer every day, my Seth was one of them, but I don’t want him to be a number. Ever since his death I’ve wanted to make sure he wasn’t just a statistic. My legacy to him has always been to raise awareness of this deadly disease and to campaign to help get better outcomes for patients.
“The podcasts are all about raising awareness, sharing often very emotional, personal stories and hopefully helping to make a difference. I also have some educational events using Seth’s story, as part of a partnership with the University of Washington planned. And like every November I’ll also be wearing purple to sparkle for my Seth.
Lesley said: “He really was the love of my life and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t miss him or wish he was here. He was just 49 and we had so much planned to celebrate his 50th birthday which we never got to do.
She explained: “In the seven years since Seth died; I have met some incredible, inspirational people whose lives have been touched by this devastating disease. I’ll continue to do all I can to raise awareness of the disease, and as much money as I can in memory of him,” she added.
Since Seth died Lesley has trekked the Great Wall of China, held charity balls, sold a series of specially commissioned commemorative ceramics and launched previous podcasts to raise money and awareness of the disease.
A series of letters Lesley wrote to talk about Seth’s final days have also been turned into an emotive play, used as a learning tool to help improve end of life care within the healthcare sector. The play will be performed live and online this week to students of physiotherapy AECC University College in Bournemouth and students of social work and oncology at the University of Washington in the United States.