31st December 2020

2020 Reflections

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The end of a year can be joyous or sad. As we gain more life experience it can be an odd mixture of feelings depending on life’s roller coaster in the last 12 months. When you have had, or watched a loved one live through a lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, you may want to say farewell to a challenging year. If you have lost a member of the family to lung cancer, putting a Christmas, a birthday, a New Year between you and them may be tough. 

2020 has been an extremely unsettling year for many of us. Few people have had a normal year. Whether you have faced life’s milestones such as big birthdays, moving on from education, marriage, new home, or new baby – all have been affected. Few of us have had family holidays or treat nights at a local restaurant, or cinema, theatre or music event. 

For the thousands of people in the UK, living with lung cancer meant months of shielding, of not feeling safe in the outside world. This has made 2020 remarkable for all the wrong reasons. There may be thousands more for whom a cancer diagnosis has been delayed, or treatment postponed. This is a worry for all of us.  

We’ve faced challenges

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has had challenges this year. Offices were closed and our services had to be run from home, our research projects were paused; our shops have been open, closed and opened again, and face more uncertainty. Fundraising events, like marathons, the Spooky Welly Walk and Strictly competition have not taken place. 

Yet we have found ways of adapting, of being in touch virtually, or running virtual events. Our bold Still Here awareness campaign ran from September. 2020 meant a Lung Cancer Awareness Month campaign that needed more time and more attention. We’ve seen our incredible supporters do their bit in their own homes, streets and towns; we are incredibly lucky to have the support and good will of so many of you. 

We are in your corner

As we say goodbye to 2020, we are thinking of all of you who have had your struggles, your losses and your upsets this year. For those who end the year more fearful of what the future will bring, we are here to listen. For those who have had to mourn without the support of their communities, we want to help. For those facing the double challenge of lung cancer and covid’s impact, we are on your side and in your corner. 

We look forward to a New Year, to new treatments, new research and a new vaccination programme. We want to continue to offer support to people with lung cancer, to fund research and campaign for improvements in early detection and better outcomes for people with lung cancer. That is our 2020 Christmas wish and our 2021 New Year’s Resolution. 

So, we say farewell to 2020 and we wish you well for 2021. For those with a soft spot for a Scottish Hogmanay celebration, let’s share a toast with Highland Cathedral, performed by solo piper Fraser Dallas. 

Lorraine Dallas, Director of Information, Prevention & Support

Fraser Dallas