18th November 2022

Campaigning helped give me focus after James’s death

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This week, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation ambassador, Cathy Brokenshire spoke to Channel 5 News about the death of her husband, James Brokenshire MP, and how joining forces with our charity has helped give her focus.

“My husband, James, died of lung cancer a little over a year ago. He was an MP. He was a government minister and he decided to join politics because he wanted to make a difference and help people, which he was doing within his career but then he was diagnosed with lung cancer. 

“As soon as he was diagnosed, he said that this was another cause and campaign he needed to get on board with. When he died, I picked up the mantle and carried on his mission.

“This feels very much like a legacy project. As soon as he died, we set up a charity page for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation in his memory and people have donated very generously and left heart-warming messages of support. Now, for me, it’s time to raise awareness and carry on raising money so this charity can continue to do what it does best.

“I’ve learnt so much about lung cancer in the last year, working with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. During James’s diagnosis and treatment, I was very focused on his needs and our world. Now, I have joined up the charity and I am finding out a lot more and meeting people who have survived lung cancer or who are living with lung cancer.

I learnt that lung cancer is no difference to any other cancer. The earlier we pick it up, the better the chances.

“That’s why our lung cancer roadshow is so important. So many lung cancers are caught at late stage, often in A&E, and sometimes even by accident. The conversations we are having out in communities where lung cancer is most prevalent are encouraging people to come forward with symptoms.

“I’ve lost my husband and my soul mate. I could have fallen in a heap in the corner but instead  having a focus and picking up where he left off has been so important in helping me move forward.

“I hope James is looking down on me and that’s he’s really proud because if what I’m doing can help make a difference and can stop another family from going through what we’ve gone through then it’s a win.”