Meet Sue Deans, one of our media volunteers who helps with a wide range of opportunities. Read why she enjoys raising awareness and what her family and friends think of her for doing it.
Why did you want to become a Media Volunteer?
Everyone always thinks that cancer is something that happens to other people. I offered to share my story as I think it’s really important to make people aware that cancer can happen to them. I’ve always been a very outdoorsy person – and when I was young no-one realized how dangerous exposure to the sun could be. After I was diagnosed with skin cancer, I wanted to help others and I think people can relate to my story as I am an ordinary person.
What kinds of things have you done as a media volunteer?
The first time I got interviewed, Mary from the Media Volunteer Liaison team rang me and gently enquired as to whether I’d be happy to go on BBC News. It was nerve-wracking but so interesting. I really enjoyed seeing behind the scenes at the studio. Since then I’ve been on Channel 4, Al-Jazeera and Sky News as well. I have also been to the offices at Cancer Research UK to give talks to staff, and also spoke to the team that looks after Legacy fundraising (people leaving gifts to the charity in their Wills) just recently.
What are the best and worst things about being a media volunteer?
Being filmed can take a long time and being asked to do the same things over and over again so the cameraman can get the shot from another angle can get very tedious, and I don’t think I look very good on camera. But I’ve had wonderful feedback from my family and friends – my family are very proud of me for doing this.
What would you say to anyone thinking of sharing their story?
Go for it! It’s a positive thing to do – you can feel that in a small way you’re doing things to help beat cancer sooner. I know that some people want to ignore it or pretend it’s not happening but when I got ill I wanted to find out as much information as possible and I want to share my experiences with as many other people as possible. Even if what I say only gets through to a small number of people that can make a big difference.