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Jemma Peacock

Despite the numbing of most words, there is still one word that can halt a conversation and reduce someone to tears, yes we’re talking about the ‘c’ word – cancer. But wait, don’t go! Just reading the word then, you thought this is going to be heavy or depressing didn’t you? But please, do bear with us as we have a really important website that we have just launched to share with you, please visit www.jemmapeacock.org.

We’d love to say your expectations about this post mentioning cancer are wrong, but we’ve just built a website for a young mum from Sussex to bring her plight to everyone’s attention. At 31 Jemma Peacock is a mother of two young girls and suffers from a rare form of cancer. It can’t be cured, but there are drugs available to give her and other Wild Type GIST sufferers a chance for a longer life. Unimaginably the third line cancer drug that could prolong her life has just been withdrawn by NHS England. We responded to a plea for help from one of her friends to create a website that could provide a platform to accumulate all the information and help an online petition gather momentum. The NHS and their Cancer Drugs Fund state the drug “represented insufficient value”, we’re not sure how you can value the life of a young mother and loving wife or that of other so-called GISTers. So if you don’t do anything else, please at least sign the petition by clicking here, it will be 30 worthwhile seconds out of your life that might make all the difference to theirs.

It was a refreshing experience building a website in 48 hours. Normally a website takes weeks of planning, research, consulting, discussing, designing and then the inevitable wait for content. From domain registraion to site launch was quick this time, but the brief of purple and pink colours and ‘a bloody big button linking to the petition’ we feel was met!

Sadly, according to Cancer Research UK, every two minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer in the UK, every four minutes someone dies of cancer. Fortunately treatments, awareness and diagnosis are improving, with about half of people diagnosed with cancer now surviving their disease for at least ten years. We’re also lucky that in the UK we do have the NHS, despite it being massively under threat. With those statistics cancer will affect us, or someone we know, at some point in our lifetime. We have never met Jemma before creating her a website free of charge, we didn’t need to, the least you can do is visit it. We welcome Jemma to the BN:Coded family!

Visit www.jemmapeacock.org for yourself.

UPDATE…

We launched www.jemmapeacock.org to give an online home to a young mum with an inoperable and rare cancer. Those that interact and follow BN:Coded on social media will not have been able to avoid the unified campaign to reinstate an incorrectly categorized drug on the Cancer Drug Fund.

The deadline to get 100,000 signatures on an online petition was tight but with amazing goodwill, phenomenal press coverage and the power of social media more than enough signatures were obtained. Although it was a national campaign, the petition statistics showed the majority of signatures to come from our home county of Sussex, as well as London and Liverpool. The petition process was delayed by the general election but an appeal was launched by the manufacturing drugs company Bayer.

On 22 May 2015, it was announced that Regorafenib also known as Stivarga, will continue to be offered on the Cancer Drugs Fund. It is the only drug the CDF have done a u-turn on. We are delighted for Jemma and the new friends we have met along the way, particularly Laura Todd and Sam Waller. There are so many people that worked tirelessly on the campaign to bring its awareness to the fore, we are deeply proud to have been among them.

Finally, here is Jemma’s statement on Twitter: