Sarifa is a current member of our Research & Strategy Cancer Insights Panel. She has lived experience of disability, and English as a second language. She is also a member of the Asian community and with it brings a fresh perspective to our meetings.
Just over 10 years ago, Sarifa was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes and following treatment is now in remission. While undergoing her breast cancer treatment, Sarifa received leaflets about the early symptoms of cancer. She shared this information with her family and community. As a result, Sarifa's sister was able to recognise her own cancer much earlier.
I have a lot of expertise to share about what people with English as a second language and people with a disability might need. Minority groups can experience inequality and early mortality so it’s good to be able to represent these groups, and why I enjoy the panel meetings.
It’s been great getting to meet the other panel members and hear their stories. We work together to bring change for everyone who may in the future be affected by cancer, including under-represented groups.
Working with such a committed team has been great. They are aware of the barriers I have and provide me with help in overcoming them. I had no trouble completing my application over the phone, and they send me the information I need for meetings through the post.
Online meetings are a bonus for me because of my caring responsibilities. It's also helped with the isolation of working from home because I'm connecting with people who share the same cause.
The best part about being on the Cancer Insights Panel is sharing my lived experience— the good and bad to help make things better for the future. I also love learning about all the good work that CRUK does.
My hopes for the future are that more people with disabilities and people of colour will join the panel, that there’s a cure for cancer, and that cancer survivors will all live longer and with a higher quality of life.
If you've been affected by cancer, directly or as a loved one, and are looking for an opportunity to do something different and develop new skills. Find out how your experience of cancer can influence work taking place across Cancer Research UK
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Have you or a loved one been affected by cancer? Are you looking for an opportunity to do something different and develop new skills? Use your experience of cancer to influence our work.