Gazette – July 2014

It was a great pleasure last weekend to be part of Mair’s Walk which has raised so much money over the years helping to fight cancer. Organised by the inspirational Mair ap Gruffudd, a cancer survivor herself, it has become part of the calendar here in Bridgend.

All those who walked from Newbridge Fields through Merthyr Mawr and over the stepping stones to Ogmore, will have done so to remember somebody who had cancer. In my own case, it was for my mother who died over four years ago and for my wife Lisa who beat cancer eighteen years ago; and I’m glad to say was with me.

It’s because of events like this that survival rates have improved. The money raised goes to help pay for research where we have in Cardiff one of the world’s finest cancer genetics research centres at the Heath together with Velindre Hospital which has helped so many people. These days, many more cancers are now curable, or manageable and where individuals are now able to live long-term with cancers that can’t be cured, but can be prevented from growing.

The key to treatment in the future lies in genetic therapy where the gene which caused the cancer to grow can be “switched off” and where treatments can be tailored to the individual. At the moment, in many cancers some people react well and some don’t. It can often be difficult to know how the treatment will progress, but the hope is that in the future it will be easier to understand what works best for the person as an individual.

However, let’s thank all those people such as Mair and those involved in events like Race for Life for all that they do. It makes a real difference.