Adrian’s legacy shines a light on pancreatic cancer

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Pancreatic Cancer awareness ambassador and fundraiser Adrian Beard was remembered this week when McCaig’s tower lit up purple.

Before the 50-year-old dad-of-two from Connel died from the disease earlier this year, one of his final wishes was for his legacy to live on and for the tower to be illuminated on November 18 – World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

Pancretic Cancer UK awareness ambassador and dad-of-two from Connel Adrian Beard who died on September 10

Purple is the colour of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s ribbon.

Pancreatic Cancer UK’s head of Scotland & Northern Ireland Dawn Crosby said: ‘It was wonderful to see the iconic McCaig’s Tower lit purple for World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

‘Adrian was keen for this to happen again this year to raise awareness of the disease and highlight the urgent need for earlier diagnosis.

‘With nearly 1,000 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Scotland each year and more than half of those with the disease dying within three months of diagnosis, Adrian was determined to change this appalling statistic that has barely improved in 50 years.’

Adrian’s best friend Finlo Cottier added: ‘Adrian brought great spirit and energy to everything he did, and showed great fortitude during his illness. Lighting up McCaig’s tower in the purple colour of Pancreatic Cancer UK brings to mind those, like Adrian, who have passed due to pancreatic cancer, but also a reminder of the great fortitude of those currently living with the illness, of their families, of the pancreatic cancer researchers and fundraisers, and of the medical teams. It’s also just a joy to see the tower lit up, it brings a smile to your face.’

Former cub leader and Group Scout leader Adrian helped Pancreatic Cancer UK  raise thousands of pounds of vital funds for research into the devastating disease just weeks before his death on September 10.

When PCUK launched the Big Step Forward 2021’s 24-hour walkathon, Adrian was its first choice to be the face of Team Scotland raising £43,413.

Team Oban, with virtual entrants joining its side from as far away as Australia and Norway, brought in a whopping £14,664.

Ms Crosby added: ‘Just 5.6 per cent of people in Scotland are still with us five years or more after their diagnosis, making pancreatic cancer Scotland’s deadliest common cancer.

‘The disease’s vague symptoms mean it often goes undetected until after it has spread to other areas of the body.

‘No screening or early detection tests exist to help doctors diagnose the disease, so, tragically, around 80 per cent of people are diagnosed when the cancer is at an advanced stage and it is too late for them to receive lifesaving treatment. Early diagnosis is essential to give people the best chance of survival.’

Anyone experiencing one or more of the most common symptoms – back pain, indigestion, tummy pain and weight-loss – for more than four weeks should contact their GP and anyone with yellowing of the eyes or skin should immediately go to A&E.

‘We do not want people to panic if they have some or all of these symptoms, because most people who do will not have pancreatic cancer. But it is absolutely vital that people learn more about this disease, talk to their loved ones and their GPs, and help us end the culture of silence that has surrounded pancreatic cancer for so long,’ added Dawn.

For more information or to support the work of Pancreatic Cancer UK, please go to www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk