The St David’s Runners, a team of health care professionals at Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor are running the Chester Half Marathon on Sunday 29th April to raise awareness of cervical cancer, how it can be prevented and where women affected can access support.
The group, consisting of specialist nurses, Gynae-Oncologists, and colposcopists, all work in the gynaecological outpatient department at the hospital, and regularly see first-hand the devastating impact a diagnosis has on women, their families and friends.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and abnormalities, and through their fundraising the team want to ensure more women know how they can reduce their risk of the disease and also where they can get support.
Janet from the St David’s Runners team said: “We have regular clinics involving women with abnormal smears and cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can be devastating, affecting many young women worldwide. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust provide great support for patients, families and health care professionals. In recognition of the incredible work they do, we hope to both raise awareness and funds for the charity to help achieve their vision to make cervical cancer a disease of the past.”
Over 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and a further 220,000 with a cervical abnormality that may require treatment. Cervical screening provides the best protection against the disease yet 1 in 4 women in Wales don’t attend their cervical screening when invited.
Cervical screening uptake in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is currently at 77.4% with Welsh screening attendance now at 11 year low (77.0%).
Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “It’s fantastic that the St David’s Runners team at have set themselves the impressive challenge of running the Chester Half Marathon for Jo’s.
“With 1 in 4 women not attending their smear test, it’s more important than ever that we work with healthcare professionals to raise awareness about the importance of the test.
“We also want every woman who needs support or information to be able to find us and it is only through incredible supporters such as the St. David’s Runners, that we can do this. Everyone at Jo’s would like to thank them for raising awareness about the charity and smear tests. We wish them all the best with the event this weekend!”
The team has set themselves a fundraising target of £3,000 for Jo’s and have already raised over £1,200. They hope to continue raising even more funds in the days leading up to the half marathon and would appreciate any donations. See their JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janet-smith32