Ribble Valley family's crusade to raise awareness and early detection of pancreatic cancer in honour of their much missed dad

The family of a man, who died after a courageous two year battle against pancreatic cancer, are on a crusade to raise awareness of  symptoms of the disease and the urgent need for earlier detection.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:10 pm

Every year, on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, homes and prominent landmarks across the globe light up purple to remember loved ones who have died and to acknowledge those living with or beyond the disease.

The family of Sabden's Peter Edwardson have arranged for their local church, St Nicholas, to be lit in purple from 5pm to 8pm on Thursday, November 18th.

It is the second year running the family have taken part in the Light It Purple campaign and they have thanked the church for allowing them to do it again.

Katie and her dad, Peter on her wedding day.

Peter's daughter, Katie Skellern, said: "St.Nicholas' Church is a big part of our hearts.

" I am proud to be a member of the community and, along with a friend, run the Sunday School for the children that attend.

"My dad's funeral took place here and we also have a beautiful oak bench placed in the graveyard in his memory, it really is a special place to us."

Katie's brother Shaune will use his skills as a lighting technician for the event and the entire village will be able to see the church lit up.

Peter with daughter Zoe

WPCD is held to raise awareness in a bid to lead to more people surviving. Peter died in December, 2020, but if the disease had been caught earlier he could have stood a much better chance of survival.

Katie added: "Unfortunately the symptoms are not well known, even with many GPs, and can be mistaken for other illnesses such as IBS.

"This is sadly the case for thousands of people across the world.

"In dad's name, and all of those that have lost their battle, we will continue to fight for earlier detection, awareness and to raise funds for more research into this monster of a disease."

Shaune with his dad Peter

Peter, who left his wife Sheila, another daughter Zoe and four grandchildren, was diagnosed in November, 2018, just before his 58th birthday.

A real fighter, Peter spent five months in two hospitals, with stays in ICU and critical care. He underwent multiple surgeries, countless scans and tests.

He was finally eligible for surgery to remove the cancer but two days before his operation was given the shattering news that two small hotspots had been found on his liver, which they were treating as spreadings and he was no longer eligible for the surgery.

The family have raised over £8,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK in the last two years with the Light It Purple campaign. Katie trekked the national Three Peaks with her friend, Jill Wright and donations can still be made to the cause by clicking HERE.

The stunning sight of St Nicholas' Church in Sabden when it was lit in purple for the first time last year