A cancer patient has “no regrets” about fronting a campaign wishing for the disease in her breasts instead.
Kerry Harvey, who has pancreatic cancer and has been given just months to live, sparked outrage and received death threats after being pictured in an advert.
But Kerry, 24, from Bognor, has no regrets about appearing in the campaign for the charity Pancreatic Cancer Action.
The shocking adverts were intended to improve awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer – which is the UK’s fifth biggest cancer killer.
Internet trolls branded Kerry and the campaign “vile”. One Twitter user said they hoped Kerry would not be one of the 3% of patients who survive the disease.
TV presenter Gloria Hunniford, whose daughter Caron Keating died of breast cancer, said Kerry’s ad made her feel “almost sick”.
Yesterday Kerry said despite the initial backlash she had received a huge amount of support.
She said: “Lots of people with breast cancer have actually been very supportive and understood my reason for saying it.
“I’m not saying it’s worse to deal with – I never would – but would rather have an 85% chance of survival than 3%.
“Thanks to all those who have sent positive tweets and messages of support my way - appreciate them all. Far fewer trolls today.”
A petition calling for more funding and awareness of the illness has now received more than 31,000 signatures.
Defending her decision to take part in the campaign Kerry said: “I know I upset a lot of people by saying what I did, but it’s true.
“If I had breast cancer rather than pancreatic cancer, it is almost certain I wouldn’t now be dying. “Instead I’ve been told I’ve only got four to five months to live.
“I will never regret saying it publicly. I’m not saying that breast cancer is easier to deal with.
“But I wish I had it because I would have a fighting chance of survival. In the past couple of weeks, cancer lumps have grown on my head and in my breasts so I know I won’t be coming back from this.”
Kerry was working at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester when she fell ill last January. In April she was diag- nosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour – a rare and aggressive form of the cancer.
She is now being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and last November doctors told her to focus on palliative care rather than treatment.
In January, Kerry’s boyfriend Matthew Biggin, 30, proposed and she is now focusing on planning their wedding in May.
Matthew – who is now Kerry’s full time carer – said he was disgusted by the hateful comments Kerry had received in response to the adverts.
He said: “It’s a sick, sad thing to do, but we’re just ignoring it and it won’t make any difference to our support for the campaign.”
Matthew said after Kerry’s damning diagnosis he felt like his ”entire life was stripped away in the blink of an eye”.
Founder of Pancreatic Cancer Action – and survivor of the illness – Ali Stunt, said: “The objective of our initial campaign, which has received worldwide attention, was to raise massive awareness of pancreatic cancer and the grim statistics, including the shockingly low 3% survival rate.
“The huge attention pancreatic cancer has received this week has provided us with an opportunity to bring for- ward a symptoms-led awareness campaign.
“The new adverts will raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease to encourage more people to visit their doctor.
“While no early detection device exists, awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer is a key to saving lives.”
To sign the petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48389.