'Death threats or not - I still wish I had breast cancer' says Chichester nurse who fronted controversial campaign

The Argus: 'Death threats or not - I still wish I had breast cancer' says Chichester nurse who fronted controversial campaign 'Death threats or not - I still wish I had breast cancer' says Chichester nurse who fronted controversial campaign

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.

Comments (15)

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10:06am Tue 11 Feb 14

clubrob6 says...

Well I think she has done a great job making people aware of cancer,i hope she recovers and wish her all the luck in the world.As a bowel and liver cancer patient myself I wish I had known the syptoms which can be mistaken for other ailments.
Well I think she has done a great job making people aware of cancer,i hope she recovers and wish her all the luck in the world.As a bowel and liver cancer patient myself I wish I had known the syptoms which can be mistaken for other ailments. clubrob6

10:07am Tue 11 Feb 14

Take it Personally says...

It is such an unfortunate and misguided campaign tag. Comparisons of any disease is purely bad taste.
It's the charities fault and not hers, although she could have been better advised.
I hope she is well.
It is such an unfortunate and misguided campaign tag. Comparisons of any disease is purely bad taste. It's the charities fault and not hers, although she could have been better advised. I hope she is well. Take it Personally

11:58am Tue 11 Feb 14

Indigatio says...

I think she has done a great job and she is right too. If she had breast cancer she would almost certainly survive. I have stage 4b inoperable Lung Cancer. Diagnosed in May 2012 with a prognosis of 12 to 24 months. Its a lot bigger killer than breast cancer and yet receives considerably less funding. Breast Cancer receives a lot more media attention that most other cancers. Its only when you have a form of cancer you realise the problems and stigma's associated with it.
I think she has done a great job and she is right too. If she had breast cancer she would almost certainly survive. I have stage 4b inoperable Lung Cancer. Diagnosed in May 2012 with a prognosis of 12 to 24 months. Its a lot bigger killer than breast cancer and yet receives considerably less funding. Breast Cancer receives a lot more media attention that most other cancers. Its only when you have a form of cancer you realise the problems and stigma's associated with it. Indigatio

12:40pm Tue 11 Feb 14

shining star says...

oh dear where have we come to when there is arguing and a 'class system' when it comes to this dreadful all too common disease of cancer now. I can see what this unfortunate young woman is meaning. There is nothing terrible to wish that if you are to have cancer that you had a type you had more chance of surviving. I think Gloria Hunniford needs to wise up and understand what was meant. I am surprised at her jumping on this and sensationalising this by her response,. Grow up. I wish this young woman well.
oh dear where have we come to when there is arguing and a 'class system' when it comes to this dreadful all too common disease of cancer now. I can see what this unfortunate young woman is meaning. There is nothing terrible to wish that if you are to have cancer that you had a type you had more chance of surviving. I think Gloria Hunniford needs to wise up and understand what was meant. I am surprised at her jumping on this and sensationalising this by her response,. Grow up. I wish this young woman well. shining star

12:50pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Stoney33 says...

Why are there so many idiots around? Death threats to someone dying of cancer? disgusting

Its blatantly obvious what this lady is driving at, people need to think before they open their pie holes
Why are there so many idiots around? Death threats to someone dying of cancer? disgusting Its blatantly obvious what this lady is driving at, people need to think before they open their pie holes Stoney33

1:01pm Tue 11 Feb 14

fredaj says...

Stoney33 wrote:
Why are there so many idiots around? Death threats to someone dying of cancer? disgusting

Its blatantly obvious what this lady is driving at, people need to think before they open their pie holes
Couldn't agree more.
[quote][p][bold]Stoney33[/bold] wrote: Why are there so many idiots around? Death threats to someone dying of cancer? disgusting Its blatantly obvious what this lady is driving at, people need to think before they open their pie holes[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. fredaj

1:04pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Cave Johnson says...

Breast Cancer is the richest charity going, with many people gaining financially from it. Due to high publicised campaigns such as running about and wearing pink etc they all get more donations than other forms of cancer. testicular cancer for example. The Argus doesn't have clean hands here either because they give breast cancer all the publicity they could hope for instead of giving equal time to other charities.
Breast Cancer is the richest charity going, with many people gaining financially from it. Due to high publicised campaigns such as running about and wearing pink etc they all get more donations than other forms of cancer. testicular cancer for example. The Argus doesn't have clean hands here either because they give breast cancer all the publicity they could hope for instead of giving equal time to other charities. Cave Johnson

1:32pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Roundbill says...

Of COURSE breast cancer research is the easiest one to raise funds for - who doesn't like boobs?
Of COURSE breast cancer research is the easiest one to raise funds for - who doesn't like boobs? Roundbill

7:44pm Tue 11 Feb 14

jeninmi says...

While I get that breast cancer, generally,has an 85 percent 5 year survival rate, the outrage I guess comes from a sense of pitting one cancer against the other. I have stage IV breast cancer diagnosed at 41 years old right at the start of my disease so reading this made me feel sick to my stomach. I understand the survival rates of pancreatic cancer and it is so sad. My heart does go out to this young woman and I wish it could be different for her. It is especially sad to see a young person with cancer. However, I'll just add that the reality of breast cancer has been airbrushed over with pink feather boas glossing over the fact that 40,000 women die from it still annually and this number has virtually remained the same since the mid 1980s. It is a huge money maker and Nancy Brinkner herself is getting rich from it. After all that money has been funneled still the same amount of women die and the same 20-30 percent of early stage b/c patients will turn Stage IV metastatic and be terminal like myself. Before you jump to conclusions that all this attention for breast cancer has made a big impact, you should check your facts because it just hasn't made a difference in the number of women who die and the number of early stage b/c patients who end up with it coming back and killing them. My heart goes out to this young women. I so wish it were different.
While I get that breast cancer, generally,has an 85 percent 5 year survival rate, the outrage I guess comes from a sense of pitting one cancer against the other. I have stage IV breast cancer diagnosed at 41 years old right at the start of my disease so reading this made me feel sick to my stomach. I understand the survival rates of pancreatic cancer and it is so sad. My heart does go out to this young woman and I wish it could be different for her. It is especially sad to see a young person with cancer. However, I'll just add that the reality of breast cancer has been airbrushed over with pink feather boas glossing over the fact that 40,000 women die from it still annually and this number has virtually remained the same since the mid 1980s. It is a huge money maker and Nancy Brinkner herself is getting rich from it. After all that money has been funneled still the same amount of women die and the same 20-30 percent of early stage b/c patients will turn Stage IV metastatic and be terminal like myself. Before you jump to conclusions that all this attention for breast cancer has made a big impact, you should check your facts because it just hasn't made a difference in the number of women who die and the number of early stage b/c patients who end up with it coming back and killing them. My heart goes out to this young women. I so wish it were different. jeninmi

9:31pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Indigatio says...

jeninmi wrote:
While I get that breast cancer, generally,has an 85 percent 5 year survival rate, the outrage I guess comes from a sense of pitting one cancer against the other. I have stage IV breast cancer diagnosed at 41 years old right at the start of my disease so reading this made me feel sick to my stomach. I understand the survival rates of pancreatic cancer and it is so sad. My heart does go out to this young woman and I wish it could be different for her. It is especially sad to see a young person with cancer. However, I'll just add that the reality of breast cancer has been airbrushed over with pink feather boas glossing over the fact that 40,000 women die from it still annually and this number has virtually remained the same since the mid 1980s. It is a huge money maker and Nancy Brinkner herself is getting rich from it. After all that money has been funneled still the same amount of women die and the same 20-30 percent of early stage b/c patients will turn Stage IV metastatic and be terminal like myself. Before you jump to conclusions that all this attention for breast cancer has made a big impact, you should check your facts because it just hasn't made a difference in the number of women who die and the number of early stage b/c patients who end up with it coming back and killing them. My heart goes out to this young women. I so wish it were different.
Where do you get your 40,000 deaths from. Cancer Researches website gives only 11,762 in 2011

In 2010, 49,564 women and 397 men in the UK were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
In 2011, there were 11,684 female and 78 male deaths from invasive breast cancer in the UK.
In 2005-2009, 85.1% of adult female breast cancer patients in England survived their cancer for five years or more.
In 2010, 5,765 women and 26 men in the UK were diagnosed with in situ breast carcinoma.
[quote][p][bold]jeninmi[/bold] wrote: While I get that breast cancer, generally,has an 85 percent 5 year survival rate, the outrage I guess comes from a sense of pitting one cancer against the other. I have stage IV breast cancer diagnosed at 41 years old right at the start of my disease so reading this made me feel sick to my stomach. I understand the survival rates of pancreatic cancer and it is so sad. My heart does go out to this young woman and I wish it could be different for her. It is especially sad to see a young person with cancer. However, I'll just add that the reality of breast cancer has been airbrushed over with pink feather boas glossing over the fact that 40,000 women die from it still annually and this number has virtually remained the same since the mid 1980s. It is a huge money maker and Nancy Brinkner herself is getting rich from it. After all that money has been funneled still the same amount of women die and the same 20-30 percent of early stage b/c patients will turn Stage IV metastatic and be terminal like myself. Before you jump to conclusions that all this attention for breast cancer has made a big impact, you should check your facts because it just hasn't made a difference in the number of women who die and the number of early stage b/c patients who end up with it coming back and killing them. My heart goes out to this young women. I so wish it were different.[/p][/quote]Where do you get your 40,000 deaths from. Cancer Researches website gives only 11,762 in 2011 In 2010, 49,564 women and 397 men in the UK were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. In 2011, there were 11,684 female and 78 male deaths from invasive breast cancer in the UK. In 2005-2009, 85.1% of adult female breast cancer patients in England survived their cancer for five years or more. In 2010, 5,765 women and 26 men in the UK were diagnosed with in situ breast carcinoma. Indigatio

9:49pm Tue 11 Feb 14

jeninmi says...

I am sorry, I was quoting US death rates.
I am sorry, I was quoting US death rates. jeninmi

12:51am Wed 12 Feb 14

GoldenTorch says...

If she had said "I wish I had prostate cancer" there wouldn't have been any fuss at all. Its because its 'breast cancer' its seen as a female problem and anyone dare criticise women suddenly gets the united force of feminism on top of them.

As someone else has said, she has done well to highlight pancreatic cancer. Thoguh as I've never had breast cancer I've no idea how i would feel about the issue.

Yes I do know women don't have a prostrate!
If she had said "I wish I had prostate cancer" there wouldn't have been any fuss at all. Its because its 'breast cancer' its seen as a female problem and anyone dare criticise women suddenly gets the united force of feminism on top of them. As someone else has said, she has done well to highlight pancreatic cancer. Thoguh as I've never had breast cancer I've no idea how i would feel about the issue. Yes I do know women don't have a prostrate! GoldenTorch

8:13am Wed 12 Feb 14

Indigatio says...

jeninmi wrote:
I am sorry, I was quoting US death rates.
An honest mistake but you should check your facts before making such quotes.
[quote][p][bold]jeninmi[/bold] wrote: I am sorry, I was quoting US death rates.[/p][/quote]An honest mistake but you should check your facts before making such quotes. Indigatio

5:09pm Wed 12 Feb 14

jeninmi says...

Indigatio .. my facts were correct but sorry I didn't realize when replying it was a UK article and therefore the US numbers would not apply. Still the trend is the same with the number of deaths remaining unchanged over time.
Indigatio .. my facts were correct but sorry I didn't realize when replying it was a UK article and therefore the US numbers would not apply. Still the trend is the same with the number of deaths remaining unchanged over time. jeninmi

5:19pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Indigatio says...

jeninmi wrote:
Indigatio .. my facts were correct but sorry I didn't realize when replying it was a UK article and therefore the US numbers would not apply. Still the trend is the same with the number of deaths remaining unchanged over time.
OK : )
Things are moving forward though. I'm being treated at the Royal Marsden at Sutton and the new trials they have with Genetic and Immunology treatments seem to give new hope. Maybe cures are only 10 to 15 years away, too far for this young lady and you or me, but there is hope for others.
[quote][p][bold]jeninmi[/bold] wrote: Indigatio .. my facts were correct but sorry I didn't realize when replying it was a UK article and therefore the US numbers would not apply. Still the trend is the same with the number of deaths remaining unchanged over time.[/p][/quote]OK : ) Things are moving forward though. I'm being treated at the Royal Marsden at Sutton and the new trials they have with Genetic and Immunology treatments seem to give new hope. Maybe cures are only 10 to 15 years away, too far for this young lady and you or me, but there is hope for others. Indigatio

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