In the pink – Jackie Baillie supports campaign against breast cancer

Jackie Baillie MSP (2).jpg Cancer

Jackie Baillie MSP urges constituents to become lifesavers.

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton,  pulled on the pink at the Scottish Parliament to encourage constituents to take part in a new wear it pink, campaign.

Jackie joined fellow parliamentarians in Holyrood to encourage people across Scotland to get involved and take part on wear it pink day to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s research.

The MSP is calling for her constituents in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh to join her, as well as thousands of others across the UK, to sign up and take part in wear it pink which takes place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to date has raised over £31million towards Breast Cancer Now’s important work.

Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink day is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK. Back for its 17th year, the fundraiser calls on supporters to ditch their everyday colours, and add a splash of pink to their outfit, to raise money for breast cancer research.  

Jackie said: “Sadly, most of us know someone affected by this devastating disease – every year around 4,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Scotland and almost 1,000 people will die of it.   

“I am incredibly proud to be backing wear it pink this year and I would like to urge local people across my constituency to join me on Friday 19 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.

“As you can see from my photograph, taking part is easy, all it takes is an additional splash of pink to your normal outfit! It’s time to stand together, pull on some pink, and support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research – I hope you will all join me.”

Meanwhile, to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, Jackie Baillie MSP attended a reception in Holyrood, to celebrate the number of potential stem cell donors in Dumbarton Constituency on the Anthony Nolan register.

This achievement was celebrated by Anthony Nolan on Thursday 20 September, as part of its Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign, which shines a spotlight on the vital work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.

In Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, 1050 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan. 36% of these donors are male, and the average age is 32.

In total, more than 700,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.

Now, Jackie Baillie is encouraging more people from Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh particularly men aged 16-30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant.

While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate. They provide more than 50% of donations yet make up just 16% of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.

She said: “I am very proud that there are 1050 people in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

“I strongly hope that more people from our community will be inspired to sign up and show that together, we can provide a cure for blood cancer.”

Jackie Baillie has highlighted the need to retain cancer services at the Vale of Leven Hospital as figures show that the SNP Government’s cancer waiting time target has never been met under current First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The health service is expected to ensure that 95% of patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer do not wait for more than 62 days to start treatment.

This key target has never been met under Sturgeon’s stewardship of the NHS, with just 78.9% of patients in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde being treated within the 62 days in the latest quarter to June 30 this year.

The percentage of patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde whose treatment has started within the 62-day target has reduced by around 15% since Sturgeon became first minister in 2014.

Jackie said: “We know that the faster a patient begins cancer treatment the greater chance they have of survival. It is shameful that patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are being failed on this each day, despite the best efforts of staff.

“The fact that in the last quarter, Greater Glasgow and Clyde fell below the national average yet still tried to remove the breast cancer service from the Vale of Leven Hospital shows their complete failure to put patients first.

“It’s time that this SNP Government got to grips with the crisis in our NHS and provide the resources and support for our hardworking staff to be able to do their jobs. It is also clear that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde cannot be trusted to put the interest of cancer patients in the Vale of Leven hospital first, so the health secretary must take control.”

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