Living in Greater Manchester for most of her life, Pat retired from a very happy career within the social housing sector in 2013. Following a routine mammogram in 2011, she was diagnosed with bi-lateral breast cancer. And after successful treatment, she decided she wanted to do something to support cancer charities.
What motivated you to get involved in our work?
I'm passionate about early prevention, detection and living with and beyond cancer. I thought the role would bring new challenges which I felt I've the knowledge and experience to embrace.
How would you descrive your experience of your first sounding board meeting?
I felt confident and very well prepared for the first meeting. The two day induction was brilliant. The sessions were interactive and gave us the opportunity to meet many of the team from Cancer Research UK. Everyone worked really hard to welcome us and make us feel valued and comfortable. There are a number of members who have been on the board for the past twelve months who could share their experiences to help us with our role. Everyone has experience of cancer, but our common motivator is improving services and support for patients.
There is clearly a wealth of life knowledge, skills and experiences within the board, which will benefit Cancer Research UK. I'm immensely proud to have been given the opportunity to be on the policy sounding board. Personally, I think the group are going to make a great impact on the work of Cancer Research UK and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again.
How do you feel about the future of the role?
I feel ready to embrace any challenges the role may bring because I have the support of the Patient Involvement team and other sounding board members. Patient and public involvement is crucial to the 'moral compass' of Cancer Research UK. Having the opportunity to discuss and give opinions on many aspects of Cancer Research UK's work will ensure the patient's voice of experience is listened to.