After experiencing the harrowing nature of cancer upclose, Paul Stevenson knew he had to assist the ones who were so kind in helping those he loved. A Wirral native, and a full time plumber and freemason, Stevenson understands the type of damage cancer can inflict on individuals and their families. He lost his mother to cancer, and is currently helping his father through cancer treatment. His father’s treatment is being supported by the good folks at Maggie’s Merseyside, a charity that provides support and resources for cancer patients and their families.
To show his gratitude, Stevenson raised one thousand Euros for the charity by taking part in a 10,000 foot tandem skydive at Tilstock Airfield. Maggie’s, based in Clatterbridge Hospital, is a program Stevenson was more than happy to support. “People said I was brave to jump out of a perfectly good airplane at 10,000 ft fastened to someone else,” Paul mused. It was clear that he felt the real brave souls were those battling cancer and people like the ones at Maggie’s who helped assist them.
“I said: not as brave as the many people that deal with cancer every day, they head on every day not in control of the outcome hoping and praying today will be a good day. After losing my mother to cancer and my father just finishing one course of treatment and about to embark on another, both my parents did not and have not complained they just got on with it with a smile, a hug and kiss- now that’s brave.”
Stevenson extolled the great work from Maggie’s, and reaffirmed his commitment to raising awareness for cancer survivors; and great organizations like Maggie’s, that help those same survivors through the toughest times of their lives. The American Cancer society notes that: “In 2017, nearly 13% of all cancers diagnosed in adults ages 20 and older will be rare cancers, defined in this report as a cancer with fewer than 6 cases per 100,000 people per year.”
The U.S figures closely track international figures, that reveal that people are suffering from a variety of cancers that require complex and expert treatments to be handled. Though cancer affects more men than women, it is a remarkable gender neutral disease. There have been upwards of over three million new cases of cancer in Europe in 2012 alone, and the long term trends for the disease are troubling. Maggie’s is one of the organizations who are equipped to take on the challenges of tending to the needs of the growing population of cancer survivors.
The charity is dedicated to easing the burden felt by patients and their families during the course of treatment, and providing emotional and therapeutic support to those that seek it. Because they rely on voluntary donations, the money Stevenson raised was invaluable to helping them pursue and advance their cause of providing high quality support to those in need.
Centre head at Maggie’s, Kathy Wright said: “We’re so grateful to Paul for taking on this challenge for us and raising such a huge amount, which will allow us to be here for people affected by cancer when they need us most.”