Purple lights and crocuses in battle against polio and pancreatic cancer

St James’ Church in Louth is glowing with purple light this month as part of the annual ‘Purple Lights for Pancreatic Cancer’ campaign, alongside the Rotary Club’s ‘Purple4Polio’ campaign which aims to eradicate polio worldwide.

St James' Church lit up purple in previous years.

Throughout Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month, landmarks and homes across the UK and globe have lit up purple to put a spotlight on pancreatic cancer, a disease that deserves more attention.

Nearly 10,500 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year and shockingly, less than seven per cent of those diagnosed will survive beyond five years.

The disease currently receives just three per cent of UK cancer research funding, despite being the fifth biggest cancer killer.

Organised largely by individuals affected by pancreatic cancer, the campaign is not only a means to raise vital awareness but a way to remember loved ones who have sadly died and acknowledge those living with and beyond the disease.

Sarah Parker organised for St James’ Church to light up in memory of all those lost to pancreatic cancer, and to raise awareness of the disease

Sarah said: “I am delighted to be raising awareness of this dreadful disease by taking part in the campaign.

“I hope that by lighting up the church in purple, I will help put a spotlight on a disease that many people still know so very little about.”

To find out further details about the campaign, visit www.purplelightsuk.org or e-mail [email protected]

Meanwhile, Lesley Lewis from the Rotary Club of Louth told the Leader that several Rotarians have recently been hard at work planting around 4,000 purple crocus bulbs to create wonderful displays around St James’ Church, in addition to Spout Yard, St Mary’s Triangle, and adjacent to the London Road Cemetery.

Lesley explained: “The Purple4Polio activities are to raise funds and awareness for End ‘Polio Now’, Rotary’s global campaign to eradicate polio across the world.

“Why purple? Well, when a child receives their life-saving drops on mass polio immunisation days, their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their polio vaccine.

“Such is the success of the eradication programme that in the last few years, only two countries have reported cases of polio caused by the wild polio virus, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the virus is still endemic.

“Thanks to Rotary and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Africa has now been declared polio-free.”

For more details about Louth’s Rotary Club, call 01507 354272 or 07805346357, email [email protected], or find them on social media.