By Kelly McAllister, reporting for VIEWdigital
ACTOR Jamie Dornan who lost his mother Lorna to pancreatic cancer is patron of a new group set up to support sufferers of the disease in Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland star, who appeared in the BBC drama series The Fall, attended the launch of NIPanC at the Mater Hospital, Belfast, yesterday, with his father Professor James Dornan and sister Jess.
Jamie was a teenager when his mother died of pancreatic cancer 20 years ago. NIPanC is made up of local people with direct experience of pancreatic cancer. The new group will work in partnership with two national charities, Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) and Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF).
Jamie said: “I was very pleased to accept the role of patron for this important new group. As someone who has been affected directly by this terrible disease, with the death of my mother Lorna when I was younger, I know the human tragedy of pancreatic cancer and its effect on families and our wider community.
“It is a tragedy that the extremely low survival rates for pancreatic cancer have not improved significantly in 40 years. But there is much that we can do to address this.
“We must improve awareness of the cancer in the community and, importantly, amongst medical professionals. We must channel more funding, both public and private, into necessary research; and we must offer better support to families affected by pancreatic cancer.
“These are the goals of NIPanC and I am wholly behind this new group in taking forwards this crucial work within Northern Ireland,” he said.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer with around 270 deaths each year in Northern Ireland. Only two percent of people know much about the disease, a survey last year found. The work by NIPanC is aimed at increasing awareness of pancreatic cancer and promoting better outcomes for patients.