Meet James

James and his family

James joined Cancer Research UK's Children & Young People Insights Panel following first-hand experience of cancer from both his wife and son being diagnosed during the same period. He wanted to do something positive to help families like his in the future.

“I'm a husband and father and have been lucky enough to have three wonderful children. My son, our middle child, was diagnosed with a relatively rare childhood cancer just before his 3rd birthday. Towards the end of his treatment, my wife was also diagnosed with cancer. 

This challenging scenario was complicated by our youngest child being born between these two milestones. I was the primary carer for both my son and my wife. My wife survived her cancer, but my son didn’t and died just before his 5th birthday.

As a family we’ve directly experienced the difference that research makes, my wife’s more common cancer had an established and successful treatment pathway, but my son’s rarer one didn’t.

I found out about the panel from a friend who suggested my experience and perspective would be valued. The panel discussions are interesting and sometimes complex. We help make the work of Cancer Research UK more accessible and more relatable. 

We’re given advance notice and the demand is occasional. Having online discussions makes it manageable and allows us as a panel to connect.

I find it rewarding and after our sessions feel like I’ve done something positive. Sometimes it can be upsetting which is hard but knowing I’m making a small difference always outweighs the grief.

Cancer is not selective; it can affect anyone. The more diverse the audience that CRUK can communicate with, the better, and by having a diverse panel we can help that.”

Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Insights Panel

To find out more about becoming part of our panel, click here or email

Help ensure our work represents the needs of all children and young people affected by cancer. Join our panel and have your voice heard as decisions are made.

Find out how you can join